An Accumulation of Consequences

Consequences abound in life, and I am reaping my fair share these days. I am sure that this has always been true, but in these times when I am making so many different and new choices, the pace of change has been unsettling at times.

The consequences align directly with my choices. It can be no other way. And yet when the consequences are not exactly what I want at the moment, when they are inconvenient, I find myself looking over my shoulder to see if there is someone else that is responsible. In more recent times, I am catching myself doing so, and have to acknowledge my folly.

In the movie “Searching for Sugarman”, Sixto Rodriguez is asked how he feels about the lack of success in his early musical career and he responds so beautifully “nothing beats reality”. A North American Buddha if there ever was one. His power is in his surrender, acceptance and eloquence. A grand lesson in three words.

Rodriguez reminds me that my reality is my story. And my story is my life. It is an accumulation of consequences. The resulting rhythm is me, Tom Kerr.

I did not really understand properly the connection between choice and consequence for a very long time. My access to such basic awareness was damaged at a young age, when I was betrayed so deeply that healthy biological responses to life’s situations were unavailable to me. For many, many decades. Yes, decades.

The choices made by other men authored consequences in my life, as well as in theirs. The results include some very poor decisions by me, and I can and will continue to make the connection between their choices and mine. This cannot be denied. And yet, I have found no strength in looking over my shoulder to see if there is someone else responsible. By turning to look back, I would be taking my eyes off the road, disconnecting myself from the newly found source of strength I never lost, but had never known either. Unexplainably, my life-force was directed “forward”.

Maybe an unexpected result of coming to my memories so late in life is that the choices of revenge and anger were no longer available to me. If this is true, then I find myself grateful for such a consequence.

3 responses to “An Accumulation of Consequences

  • zastre

    Finally found this — from Adam Phillips’ book “Going Sane”, p. 229: “Revenge is no good to the sane because it is an attempt to coerce agreement, in the form of submission and/or despair. Only people who don’t expect to be listened to need people to agree with them, and the sane expect to be listened to. The sane prefer listening to speaking; indeed, they regard most speaking as a defence against listening; though they realize, of course, what would happen in the unlikely situation of everyone wanting only to listen. After all, what would happen if everyone started listening at once?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • photosentinel1953

      Great quote! It gives me pause, makes me consider the way in which I interact with others both here in the blog and in face to face discussions. To observe that most speaking is a defence against listening renders many exchanges void of any relevance to life. They are verbal battles, not discussions.

      Thanks for taking part, Mike.


  • feelingmywaybackintolife

    There a difference between listening and speaking but to me the tone of the conversation is important too. Is somebody dictating? Is it a debate? A discussion? Are we deliberating or is it dialog where exploration is possible? I don’t think speaking is neccessarily ‘bad’ it depends on the intention, again, (mind)set and setting. I can listen to somebody exploring his/her feelings and thoughts and verbalising these on the way. I have very much difficulty with listening to somebody or people dictating, debating or discussing things.

    Trusting that other people will listen is a good thing. Very few of us have been given that security. 🙂 My favorite type of man used to be one who completely ignored me. :-/ That was my vision of ‘man’ and manly. Glad I got the time to realise that there are healthier ways to deal with myself and others. 🙂

    xx, Feeling


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