Once upon a time there was a donkey named Gavin.  He worked for a gardener.  Gavin was so unhappy with his job.  He felt that he was overworked and under fed.  Gavin couldn’t take one more day, so he prayed to Zeus and asked him to take him away from the gardener.  He didn’t care where, just anywhere but there.  Zeus agreed and made arrangements for Gavin to be sold.  He was sold to a potter.  The donkey also found this situation unbearable, since he was forced to carry even heavier loads than before.  He called upon Zeus again, and this time Zeus warned him that this would be the last time his request would be granted.  Gavin was persistent and Zeus once again arranged for the donkey to be sold, this time by a tanner.  When Gavin saw the kind of work the tanner did, he said, “Oh, it would have been better for me to have kept on working for my previous masters in a state of starvation!  Now I have ended up in a place where I won’t even get a proper burial after I die.”

Gavin was faced with many choices.  He could have chosen to stay with the gardener, or to have stayed with the potter, but he chose to be unhappy.  The choice of finding the good in his situation never even occurred to him, but it was there nonetheless.  The choices he made were inevitably followed by consequences.  A consequence is “that which logically or naturally follows from an action or condition; an effect; result.”  It unavoidably follows every choice. 

Every choice WE make is also followed by consequences, whether they are “good” or” bad”.  The beautiful part is we have control.  If we want a specific outcome like a healthy body, then we know that we need to make good choices about the food we eat, whether we exercise or not and how much sleep we give ourselves.  Unfortunately, we cannot expect to have healthy bodies and choose to eat nothing but cookies, ice cream and chips (it sure would be nice though). 

The attitude of “I’ll deal with the consequences later” is dangerous.  Sometimes, everything works out fine, but other times, we find ourselves in a consequence that we feel we can not handle.  It is bigger than we thought it would be.  The momentary choice was NOT worth the consequence.  At that point, we turn to feeling sorry for ourselves and start blaming everyone and everything. 

However, as Eleanor Roosevelt taught us…“…We shape our lives and we shape ourselves…and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” 

The point here is that WE choose what kind of life we want to live and WE are responsible for those choices.  We need to own the outcome.  If the outcome is “bad” then we need to find the lesson in it and learn…never doing it again.  If the outcome is “good” then we need to celebrate it. 

June 28, 2012