The Accumulation of Choices

An informational traffic sign over a blue sky showing a division of directions - a clipping path is included to separate sign from bkg.

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An informational traffic sign over a blue sky showing a division of directions - a clipping path is included to separate sign from bkg.

Sam Hopkins, Staff Writer

Growing up in a close knit family, with two solid parent figures, I was taught a wide variety of things in my early years. Reflecting on all the life lessons I’ve been taught along the way, one nugget of wisdom stands out from the rest: be mindful when making decisions.

While I was taught numerous other lessons of wisdom in my childhood, the teaching of choices and decisions always seemed to stick out. We make hundreds and thousands of decisions. Over time, these decisions, whether positive or negative, add up and the outcome of your life will be affected.

Attempting to simplify this confusing and complex teaching, my father created a simplistic flow chart to help me better understand. At the top of the chart, the word “choices” stood alone. Branching from this single word, there were arrows leading to the words “good” or “bad.”  Branching off of the word “good,” the end result was a “happy life.” Branching off of the word “bad,” read the words “you suck.”

Creating a comical model that only contained seven words, I thought my father’s teachings were too simple to be true. But, as I’ve matured through my seventeen years of life, I’ve found that the model my Dad scratched down on a dirty napkin at Brann’s seemed to be the truth. I’ve found that the choices you make add up, and an accumulation of either good choices or bad choices determine the outcome of your life.

As I’ve grown as an individual, I’ve become mindful of my decisions when making choices. I now know that an accumulation of bad decisions will add up, hurting me in the long run. Making a couple of ill-advised decisions is okay every now and then, but it’s important to not make these a common occurrence.