Everyday we go about making choices; those choices are like ripples on a pond. I don’t know if we every really give it a thought, but the reality is true. Everyone’s actions affect everyone else. If this were not true, then we wouldn’t live in a wicked and sinful world.
The ripples in the pond begin the moment we wake up and start our day. Lets say I wake up in a bad mood, have a horrible attitude, yell, start a fight and say something snarky or out of line to my wife or kids. This will in-turn negatively impact their day and most likely set of a chain reaction of negative response as they move forward interacting with others. I changed the outcome of the day by my negative interactions, adversely affecting theirs. This is not to say they can’t choose to change their response and actions. Overall in most of my experiences like this, the response to the negativity is 98% negative. On the other hand I have also seen upbeat and positive actions result positive actions. This is about making right choices and choosing not to let negative interactions move you off course. In the midst of bad news or bad interactions, you can make a choice in how you will respond.
We have choices about everything in life, both large and small. Americans prize our freedom of choice, we are lucky enough to choose whom we date, marry or spend out life with. We choose where we live and what kind of home we live in. We choose to work, go to school or even just live off of others. We also make choices about our attitudes and opinions of others. There are so many choices we don’t even stop to think about, we just go through our day-to-day routines, making choices.
I find it interesting how we get caught up in our regular routines we often miss when our choices become harmful or toxic. It begins with small choices slowly over time; they become a forest fire out of control. We end up in a cycle of toxicity due to continual patterns of poor behavior. Suddenly were in the midst of our harmful choices and we don’t even realize it, we can’t believe where we are at and how we managed to cross lines we never thought we would. I’ve been in this spot more times than I care to remember. The choices we have made also affect those around us. In order to turn things around it’s going to take time and effort. You can begin by making wise choices, breaking the cycle and heading down the right path. It will take help, but you can do it.
While I am not going to try to tell everyone the choices they should make, I do believe that making well-educated and informed choices is the best thing a person can do. Don’t let someone else tell you what to do, make sure that you can stand on your own two feet when making a choice. People will try to get you to believe that what they think is right. While the truth is out there, be mindful there is some very messed up garbage and not what you need for your life. People will try to tell you that what you believe is wrong. We all have our own beliefs about what’s right and wrong. I am not going to waste my time debating that. We have our core beliefs and those are what guide us. Right or wrong, good or bad, the choices I make for my life aren’t the same as others would make. Based on my life, I need to make sure the choices I make don’t affect my life and family in a negative way. Unfortunately as a man who has not always lived by these rules I have made selfish, poor choices and my wife, kids, friends and family have suffered.
There are specific issues out there I believe all real men need to be aware of and take a stance on. Real men reject apathy and passivity and stand up against injustice. Real men stand up for what is right, protect those who need protecting and aren’t afraid to defend what they believe even if it means laying your life down for it. Few men are willing to lay their life down for their beliefs, some have and they are men I respect and admire.
Part of who I am is defined by following the “Golden Rule” “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
I also follow The 10 Commandments:
1 -‘You shall have no other gods before Me.‘
2 – ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.‘
3 – ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.‘
4 – ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.‘
5 – ‘Honor your father and your mother.‘
6 – ‘You shall not murder.‘
7 – ‘You shall not commit adultery.‘
8 – ‘You shall not steal.‘
9 – ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.‘
10 – ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.‘
Lastly, I also believe in choosing to follow the laws of the land. Even though I may not agree with everything, I still believe out of respect you make good choices.
Real men’s choices are more about the greater picture and less about themselves. They are able to step back, see the larger picture and realize the significance their choices make on this world. Real men make wise choices because the see the bigger picture and care for others.