The English language has a lot of funny idiosyncrasies.
Take for example the word consequences.
Nearly everybody understands that for most types of actions there are consequences. Those that don’t understand this concept usually find out the hard way, although some people never make the connection at all. Consequences can either be positive, negative, neutral, or contradictory. Contradictory consequences require the perspective of at least two people. But unlike most concepts, consequences are always compounded. I suppose it is not really possible to isolate choices from consequences, thus choices, like consequences always compound too.
Dropping out of high school at age 16 usually, though not always, has more negative consequences than positive consequences.
The most common negative consequence is under-employability.
The most common consequence of that is low wages.
The most common consequence of that is either:
· Living in really crappy housing
· Living in crappy housing shared with other dropouts
· Living at home with your parents
· Joining a monastery
The first 3 of the above 4 options appear on the surface to be negative.
However the option of living at home is most likely to have contradictory consequences.
The dropout might see positive consequences since it as a great way to keep a decent roof overhead, avoid the drudgery of education, and get fed regularly.
The parents on the other hand may see it as a negative consequence, having a lazy, 24 hour a day house guest to feed and clothe indefinitely.
Conversely the dropout may see the negative consequences of the living at home option as a horrible curtailment of personal freedom.
The parents may see a positive consequence in having little Johnny directly in their lives and living room for years to come, never having to grow up.
The monastery option though unlikely would seem on the surface to have positive consequences, to name a few:
- Personal fulfillment and sense of purpose
- Dedication to a higher power
- A sense of community
On the other hand, if the dropout ever wanted to kiss a girl again, or tune into MTV, the negative consequences of this option would soon be evident
My point is that the bipolar nature of the compounding of consequences of consequences of consequences of consequences provides endless possibilities right up until the moment you die.
Then of course after that there are tax consequences.
Copyright 2012 Patrick Granfors