ALL ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Everything we think and say and do has consequences for us and for others. Like ripples on a pond our actions spread out and affect others because everything is interconnected. And, we need to remember that our actions are irreversible.
We can’t always foresee all the consequences of our actions and trying to be 100% sure we are doing the right thing 100% of the time would lead to anxiety and indecisiveness. However, we can resolve to try to choose those actions that lead to true happiness and not to unhappiness. To avoid selfish actions and to choose actions that have beneficial consequences for all –actions that promote connection and unity and harmony.
Our intention can be to do no harm and to try to be helpful to all our fellow beings.
When we know and feel that we are all connected then we can’t hurt others. We know that we would make ourselves unhappy too. Feeling our interconnectedness makes us sensitive to how our actions affect others. Ultimately, love is the purest motivation for our actions. Love wants others to be happy too. It motivates goodwill, friendliness, kindness, compassion for those who are suffering and a desire to be of service to all.
Experience can be an excellent teacher if we reflect on our actions and their consequences. We can consider our actions more carefully and cease being merely reactive to situations. Over time we become wiser and more skillful in our actions. Reflecting on our behavior is the key to changing.
We can also consider what the wise have said about actions. Wise people in all times and places have suggested rules or guidelines that promote a way of living that leads to a stable peace of mind and a life free of fear and strife. Respect for others, and ourselves, is the underlying basis for such principles. Ethical actions consider the long term interests of all.
We can start with guidelines but eventually we can go beyond following rules. We can act with understanding; and even beyond that, we can act from a feeling of being connected to all other beings and to the whole of nature.