It's difficult to know how our decisions today can affect the future.
If a kid decides to play a video game instead of doing his homework, no problem, right?
What if that small decision becomes a habit? Going down one path, he becomes a doctor or lawyer, going down the other and ....?
Of course culture-changing decisions aren't made on one school night, but over time, a culture changes and, sometimes, in dangerous ways.
Take the number of Americans who are obese. Not just overweight but who face serious health complications related to their condition.
There is a connection between technology that makes our lives easier and the corresponding lack of physical activity.
For example, I am typing this sitting in my recliner, with my laptop on my knees. Across the room, "The Big Bang Theory" is on TV. It is a TV comedy about three scientists and an engineer who have no athletic ability, no desire to exercise because they have spent their lives pursuing intellectual objectives and that is the source of much of the situation comedy. Their neighbor across the hall is a beautiful blonde who looks really good in shorts because she has spent her life avoiding books and education and instead she has been physically active in a variety of ways.
Don't misunderstand, I love technology. I agree with my father in law, who has no desire to live in the past with houses heated by wood fires and a trip to the bathroom meant walking yards down a path from the back door to the outhouse.
"These are the good old days," he says.
But, too often we can't see the future and end up regretting our decisions.
I received an email from a gentleman in Japan who wrote that he lived in our home town when he was a boy.
He was on hand when the interurban rails were taken up and when he asked his uncle where the steel was going, his uncle said it would go to Japan and return to us as bullets.
My correspondent, Mr. Armstrong, said his uncle was correct and we came to regret our pre-World War II commerce with Japan.
I can't vouch for his conclusion (I was busy watching TV and reading “The Hardy Boys” when we covered that chapter in school) but I believe our national has made other regrettable decisions over the years. Read your daily newspaper if you need proof we have made regrettable decisions.
The problem with obesity began when someone said, “Hey, if we knock the corners off this square piece of wood, it will roll."
Last week, some of our grandchildren watched "Wall-E," a video about a little robot that spends each day compacting trash.
A subplot is about the spaceship that has been floating for 700 years. The people spend their days in their recliners, sitting next to a pool where they cannot swim, watching computer screens and eating.
They have a terrible time standing in time of emergency. Walking or running is out of the question.
I hope my grandchildren remember the message about the need to get up and move when they are adults.
I took one look at the bathroom scale this morning and remembered that lesson.
The good thing is that just as regrettable as a bad habit can be, a good habit can begin with one decision and lead to really neat things!