the smallest decisions

the-smallest-decisions Even the smallest decisions have a power that often goes unnoticed.  In the past year, I’ve given a lot of thought to the decisions I make in my life – what I eat, what I wear, what I purchase, what I believe, what I say.

After much thought, I have established three priorities by which I want to live my life.  Essentially, I want each decision I make to positively impact:

  1. the lives of others (at both the societal and individual levels),
  2. the environment (as well as the organisms within it), and
  3. myself (physically,  spiritually, and emotionally).

It is my intention that by fulfilling these three goals, I will live in a way that pleases God and improves the world around me.  As I have begun to apply these values in my decision-making process, I have realized that all of my values are interrelated and overlapping.  For instance, the decisions that I make to support sustainability typically lead to healthier decisions for my body.  The choices I make about buying ethical clothing, which essentially means purchasing less clothing overall, improves my life by simplifying it and drawing me away from consumerism.

I recently read this claim in an article:  “…you do not have the power or the information to implement your values.”  Unfortunately, I think this statement is true in many ways.  For example, the processes of the industries we purchase from lack transparency, so that we don’t always have all of the information and background we need to ensure that our decisions are positively affecting the globe.  However, I believe that whether or not we can control the outcomes of all of our decisions, we are still responsible for each one that we make.

So I choose not to live by the adage of “ignorance is bliss,” but to research and educate myself so that, to the best of my ability, even my smallest decisions will be informed and positively impact the world.  I have included a small collection of resources that have impacted me and my decision making for each of my three values.  Each of these resources is, in itself, incomplete and only a part of ongoing conversations about very complex topics.

I leave you with these words…
“Be careful.  You will be haunted by what you find…, and you won’t be able to wash away what you’ve seen and heard.  You will see things and hear things, and then you will be responsible for them, for telling the truth about who you are and who you discover you are not, and for finding a way to make it right.” (“Broken Bottles,” Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist)