While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.
Consider the ripple effect, which refers to how positive or negative thoughts and actions expand outward to effect other's lives, who in turn will add to the "ripple" with their own thoughts and actions. It teaches that I should think before I perform actions because after the seed of action is sown I have to reap the fruit. Moreover, I do not receive only one fruit for every seed sown, I often get a whole crop, good or bad according to the action or seed. And so I practice mindfulness.
And, I watch. It's what do, I am a visual person. I see things hidden in the shadows that others may miss, because I practice awareness. I am always fascinated at how my perception of events evolves if I take a "time out" to gain insight before I take action, before I plant that seed.
According to Webster, perception is defined as insight, intuition, or knowledge gained by perceiving, and the capacity for such insight.
Judgement is different from perception. Judging is the formation of an opinion after consideration or deliberation. It is the mental ability to perceive and distinguish relationships and the capacity to form an opinion and to assess situations or circumstances, and draw sound conclusions. Good sense. Wisdom. Judgement gets a bad wrap. It's not an evil concept. It's the natural outcome of a good old "time out."
Lately, I have been watching a series of events in which judgements are passing as verdicts based on initial impressions, birthing lasting consequenses yet unrealized. There's a whole lot of reaction, and not much reflection going on. But I am watching, from the vantage point of my perch in the time out chair. It takes discipline to sit here, but I think its worth the effort. I have seen clearly that other people’s perceptions help build us, and judgements made hastily hinder us. As individuals, as communities, as human beings.
"Time out" gives me time to reflect about the things I see. Usually in the process of watching, what is unseen becomes more meaningful than what appears on the surface, much like an iceberg. Then, when I open my mouth to speak my mind, I do so with the intention of treating people the way I’d like to be treated by someone who has seen from another perspective: with honesty and caring.
"There's more here than meets the eye!"
"Might want to steer the ship in another direction!"
"Put your lifejacket on NOW!"
Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things. Just things. And opportunities to grow wiser, practice good judgement, and speak your truth.
It's a beautiful day!