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April 20, 2013

Looking Back: Take your time, think ahead before making decisions

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The Daily Star

---- — A lifetime may seem forever for some, especially when we were young and couldn’t wait to grow up and get to do all things we saw the adults do. Come to think of it, perhaps that wasn’t too good. 

We have seen some of the hardships brought about because of decisions that were not the best, especially on the world scene. Time has gone on and the facts are the facts, to be written up in the history books for all to see and hopefully not to make the same mistakes.

Yes, throughout a lifetime there are many, many decisions to make, either major or minor. Looking back, I can truthfully say that I have made many a blunder, and then also many wise choices.

Maturity has a lot to do with making a correct choice. As it is said, “experience is the best teacher.” That calls for much research, reading, meditation and best of all prayer. There is always someone, somewhere, that has “been there and done that.”

I remember a public talk I heard years ago about this same subject, “Making Wise Decisions.” At the time I thought I was doing OK in my life … so far. But, again, I must admit that … you know what.

We all have so many decisions to make in a lifetime that it certainly is the wise thing to take time to put together all the choices and options. Analyze each possibility, especially looking at what the outcome could be. Looking at the long-range effect of an action is most worthwhile. Considering the effects on an individual — mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually — gives peace of mind knowing you did all you possibly could to select the right course. I found all this most helpful. 

Thinking about what was said in the lecture I mentioned: I appreciated the point about considering how our actions would or possibly could affect our loved ones. That touched my heart. Yes, we humans were designed to be loved and to give love. (That’s an in- =depth subject in itself.)

Believing that most readers know about the Golden Rule, I can offer the firsthand observation that it works. Bible principles, when applied, are guaranteed to work and that particular one is stated at Matthew 7:12. It emphatically says to do to others as you would want them to do to you. That takes thought and the fellow feelings of caring for others.

When relating to human failings, as I look back, there was many a time when I should have made amends with a sincere “I’m sorry.” Those are such few words, simply put, that hopefully could smooth over a possible misunderstanding.

When I lament about a situation that could have been done differently and with better results, it’s sometimes impossible to correct due to the passing of time or other circumstances. So be it. To quote a cliché, it’s water over the dam, and hopefully forgotten. As my hubby says, “Why cry over spilled milk?” 

But thinking about what I try to apply regarding making wise decisions, I will do exactly that. Most folks remember the Sermon on the Mount and to “make peace with your brother” (Matthew 5:24). Interestingly, I read that Mohandas Gandhi, the Hindu spiritual leader, agreed that this principle, if applied, would bring peace between people — at that time relating to England and India. He recognized that it would be wise to applyb biblical principles. Interesting.

All this brings home the fact that an individual can make wise decisions. It just takes thought and patience to assimilate the above as I try to do. Hope I’ve been helpful.

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 80-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can reached at elaine-kniskern@stny.rr.com. ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at www. thedailystar.com/seniorscene.