Paying the Price

One of Newton’s laws of motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  On a basic physical level, actions have a certain cost.  It’s a less mathematical relationship but perhaps an even more true notion in the case of human actions.  A small mistake can have huge consequences far out of proportion to the action itself.  One moment of carelessness can kill a friendship of twenty years.  One instance of working while sleep-deprived can cause an error to be made that will result in hundreds of deaths from using the product your company makes.  One chemical imbalance in the womb occurring due to a pregnant woman not taking perfect care to screen what she ingests can change the course of that child’s life profoundly.

The fact that each small action I take can have massive and unexpected consequences has deepened my resolve to systematically improve my decision-making ability and my moral character.  I have no problem with paying a high price for my own actions, but my choices don’t just affect me.  It is not right for me to take an action that will force others to pay a high price for what was my doing.

And so I will pay the price for minimizing the harm my actions cause to others who do not wish to pay that price.

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