Choosing Your Path

I recently watched the movie Identity Thief, and while I might not have been able to completely empathize with someone who ruined the lives of many people repeatedly, I think it was an amazing way to show both sides of the story. It’s easy to forget when we are in the middle of our own crises that people everywhere are having difficult times, or perhaps had them in the past. I’m sure it’s easy to begrudge people their success when we aren’t successful, even though we may have no idea how hard they worked to get their success. There were a lot of good points to consider in that movie which made me overlook the more crass parts of the film. Then I saw this article and it drove home the point of the movie. Check out this article, it’ short and sweet. I’m sincerely hoping that everything was returned as simple as a change of heart, but the theft also shows some weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a system that is supposed to protect victims. Organizations need to ensure that information is not available to those who could further victimize people who have already suffered too much, but that’s an entirely different post. For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that this is a legitimate return and that the person did have a change of heart.

Everyone makes bad decisions sometimes, and we all want to run away from the consequences occasionally. This is applicable to everyone, not just those who have broken laws, but those who have messed up their own lives in some way. Perhaps it doesn’t seem as though it hurts anyone else, but at some point we have to face the consequences regardless. The story is never over when you face consequences, it is an opportunity to change your path; to write a new ending. That is one of the most beautiful gifts of being human; of each day being a new day. It can’t erase the mistakes we have made, and it can’t always make our hurts fade or our circumstances better. Sometimes the best gift is simply the opportunity to choose how we are going to live for one day. Our lives may stretch ahead of us while we continually set goals, or possibly fail to see a light at the end of a tunnel, but all we really need to do is choose our path for that day. We can choose to do the right thing. This is part of what sets us apart from animals because we have the power to choose through logic—and in some cases a moral code—to do what we believe is right, even if there are negative consequences for ourselves. How beautiful is that? It’s like giving all you’ve got during a workout. You feel the pain, but it’s a good pain because you know that you’re doing something good for you. Either that or you overextended on your lunge and you’re going to get bursitis and gimp around with high doses of anti-inflammatory meds in your system for a while until your knee is better. Maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, if you really sit and contemplate the significance of taking accountability and owning up to consequences it’s an amazing thing. It’s so difficult sometimes, but that is part of what makes it so amazing. If it were easy, everyone would do it all the time. It is our ability to choose our path each day that makes us strong; that makes us understandably proud of our humanity. No matter how it seems, your path is never truly set in stone; one day can change your destiny.

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