To every action there is a consequence. Every choice, every decision, every move committed results in a response, a consequence. We tend to think of the word consequence as a negative term, possibly because we associate it with discipline and receiving the "consequence of our actions"; but in reality, the concept and idea of consequence is neither positive or negative, it just is.
I could go into the story of my evening at work the other night, but I won't. I won't because it would simply be me ranting and raving about the nurse I followed and then the nurse that followed me. There is no benefit in my complaining. There is no benefit in my rant. The issue is really centered on actions, attitudes, personal responsibility, and the result of those things, or the consequences.
We never know the rest of the story in life. We do things all the time and have no real way of knowing how they will affect others. Sometimes, unbeknownst to us, we commit actions that will have an effect 20 years from now on someone we may never meet. When we stop to ponder the power, the effect, and the impact our actions, even our most minor actions, have on others, it should cause us to evaluate our motives.
My actions result in consequences that effect other people. If those consequences have a negative effect on others, then they may take actions and make decisions based on those consequences that result in negative consequences for another. Little acts can so easily be like dominoes, effecting everyone in their path. The same can be true for positive consequences though. Understanding this concept and evaluating this paradigm can result in an overwhelming burden of responsibility to chose every action with careful thought; it can also be very empowering to evaluate the potential impact our actions can have on another.
Since first hearing the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley in 2001 I have had a deep admiration for its words. When summing up these ideas of mine focusing on consequence I can think of nothing better to end with than the last two lines of the poem:
"It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
We truly have complete control over our actions, our attitudes, and our motives. Free will to use in determining our purpose. It is a great gift to be the captain of one's soul. We do not always acknowledge this gift. The consequences of our actions however acknowledge us and leave behind our legacy for others to encounter.