People's lives are a series of events that logically follow each other, eventually linking birth with death. The logic behind these events is not always straightforward or clear, but it can be discovered. When we are young, we do not understand the effect that our actions have on the outside world. With time we learn to see the cause and effect relation and learn the mechanics of controlling what is going on around us.
Some people have a better understanding of causality, and they are usually more successful in life than those who blindly go with the stream. It is possible to improve our cause and effect thinking by analyzing events that happened to us in the past. Then we can see how different deeds changed the situation for better or for worse and apply this knowledge to the future. Let me illustrate this with an example from my personal experience.
I grew up in Louisiana. My mother and I were very close; in fact, we still share that special friendship since my childhood. She has always been a good friend of mine and took good care of me. I used to depend on her attention, her wisdom, and her help in solving everyday problems. That is why my decision to move out was not an easy one. However, I took the challenge of living on my own and did not regret it.
After moving out I remember the feeling of freedom and independence in my own place. For the first time in my life I was the master of the situation. I started making my own decisions and taking responsibility for my actions. I decided how to fix my new living place and how to earn money for a better one. Thanks to personal responsibility, I became more mature in thoughts and deeds. At the same time I was living not far from my mother's house, approximately thirty five minutes away. I could still visit her often and ask for advice when needed.
My first place was a small trailer. Because at the time I could not afford a good place, the trailer was quite old and needed to be fixed up. I did my best to make it more convenient and suitable for living. In the process of home improvement I had to hang wallpaper in the kitchen. This is how I learned to do it with my own hands. Working with wallpaper is actually a very effective way to understand the cause and effect relation. It is a very meticulous job that requires careful planning and execution. There are so many things that can go wrong that you learn to double-check everything you do and plan well ahead.
First, you need to measure the room and calculate the correct amount of wallpaper rolls that is needed to cover the walls. If you miscalculate, it is going to cost you another visit to the warehouse. The same is true about the amount of glue you need to buy; there is no reason to have either too little or too much. Next, you need to check the wallpaper pattern and see if it needs alignment between adjacent rolls. This is what people usually miss when they hang wallpapers for the first time. Luckily, it is possible to correct this by quickly ungluing the wallpaper. You also would not want to forget about the corners, doors and windows, wall outlets and plinths. Having learned all these details from my own experience I now earn extra money by hanging wallpaper for other people. Ironically, initial lack of finances caused me to learn something that now brings me additional money.
I stayed in my trailer for about a year before I could afford a better place. Now I live much farther away from my mother and we cannot see each other as often as we used to. We speak over the phone, but the physical distance between us makes me feel even more independent. My previous experience of living alone in the trailer has taught me to take care of myself. At the same time the physical distance between me and my mother makes me appreciate those rare moments when we meet and have a conversation.
Most people usually think about cause and effect only when something significant happens, either positive or negative. We tend to omit the little things that happen to us every day and disregard the effect that they have on our lives and the lives of others. But even the smallest thing can have a great influence, and understanding this can make us more responsible and attentive to the outside world.