Think ahead when making decisions
Everyday we make decisions based on past knowledge, emotions and observations. And even though those decisions seem good to us at the time, they may not to other people. They may be perceived as a slap in the face, a stab in the heart or a betrayal of trust and loyalty.
Despite all of those things, if we are trusted to make a decision then we must stick by what we choose, right? We should be able to defend our decisions and explain our reasoning and purpose fully and adequately.
However, in order for our decision to be respected and taken as valid we have to carefully deliberate our reasoning, work out the kinks in our explanation and perhaps consult others (preferably someone like a professor, organization advisor or employer) and not our peers.
Granted, while we would like to think our peers would not send us in the wrong direction, our peers are just as human as we are and sometimes they want to see their own interests satisfied and not ours.
Sometimes the abundance of respect and admiration we have for others can easily be used to sway our decisions regardless of whom it may affect. We take on roles and positions in life to better ourselves as leaders, followers and innocent bystanders. Those of us brave enough to take on leadership positions have to carefully consider and evaluate the situations or obstacles that arise, for these things will be what makes or breaks us in the eyes of others.
Of course, that is much easier said than done. Sometimes in a position of power we forget that we were once on the other side of the coin. We forget how it felt to be on that side of the coin and how the decision affected our psyche and our ability to perform the task to the fullest extent.
These are things we have to look at within ourselves before entrusting the same sort of task upon others. We have to see as well as remember ourselves as the followers and the innocent bystanders who may not have known the entire situation.
We must remember that the decisions we make now will affect someone in the future. We cannot predict the future nor can we prevent it. But we can try to make it better for those who come after us. The least we can do is try to uphold the principles and values our positions were founded upon.
As J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, wrote, "It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Latimer, a post-baccalaureate English student, can be reached via [email protected]