Bad decisions make ripples. It is almost amazing how one decision can affect so, so many people. And yet, we make them all the time. Sometimes, we get away with them with relatively little hurt and upset, and sometimes, they ruin our lives. My little brother recently made a series of very bad decisions. We are already seeing the consequences of those decisions… and they will last for the rest of his, and our, lives.
To be perfectly honest, I am furious with him. Not so much because he made these bad decisions (consciously, I must add) but because he chose to make them knowing what the outcome would be. He knew what the consequences would be. He knew who would be hurt. And more than that, he made these decisions after seeing exactly what a (very, very vaguely) similar decision I made did to our family. He made those decisions after hating me for the effect my own decisions had on him. And he made those decisions after making the same mistake before.
Perhaps the word furious doesn’t quite cover it. I am bloody livid.
I have written before about how hard it is sometimes to accept the consequences of our actions. It is a difficult lesson I have had to learn myself, and one we all have to learn at some point. And taking responsibility for our wrong-doings and facing them like an adult is scary. But, as an adult, we no longer have the luxury of having people wipe our bottoms.
However, I also understand that sometimes we just can’t take things back. We can’t change the past, and the future is about learning to live and, more importantly, move on from what has happened. Given that a magic wand wont make this better, we now have to be patient and wait and see if he can start making good decisions. One cannot expect things to improve on their own, and the absolute worst thing anyone can do in these situations is to ‘give up’ and believe that they shouldn’t bother starting to change immediately.
Giving up, and continuing to make mad choices just because you have fallen from your path wont make anything better… in fact, it will make things 100 times worse.
My wish for my brother is that he learns from this, and builds from this. We are all standing by him. It would be stupid to throw away the rest of what he has away now to follow a path he knows is wrong. The only way for him to ‘fix’ this is to start working really hard at making the right decisions from now on. My worry is that while this is still repairable (just) at the moment, it wont be if he carries on down this path. And it terrifies me. I don’t want to lose my baby brother. He might be a complete eejit, but he is MY eejit and I don’t want to see him hurt.
Maybe the small glimpses of the far-reaching consequences of his actions are just beginning to hit home, and maybe the bash he is getting will thump him in whatever part of his brain caused him to do what he did. We can only hope!