Actions have consequences. This is something I'm sure many of you learned at a young age, just as I did. If you're obedient, then you won't get a time out. If you hit your brother,then he'll hit you back. If you don't eat dinner,then you don't get dessert. Things like this happen to many people as children, and all of them teach the same lessons: our choices don't just affect us, and all actions have consequences. Now that I've grown up a bit, I sometimes wish I was living in the world where the consequences of my actions usually involved avoiding / receiving some form of discipline from my parents.
Now the choices are a lot bigger, and the consequences a little more permanent and life-altering. If I choose to spend money on movies, then I may not be able to pay rent. If I don't go to work, then I won't get paid. If I want to drive up to see my family, then I have to save the money for gas. There are other choices that are even more complicated, like choosing which college to go to, or figuring out what to do after college. I have quite figured out the answers to all those yet, so for now, we'll leave them alone.
I think it's more important for people to focus on a different aspect of choices, the way they affect other people. Everything we do has an affect on those around us, whether that affect is large or small. If I couldn't pay rent, then I would leave my roommates hanging with extra cost that they may not be able to afford either. If I don't go to work, then someone else will have to cover for me and do the work that I should have done. And if I don't save money for gas, then I can't go see my family, which in turn means they don't get to see me.
Now what about the effect of good choices? Like those pass it on commercials, where one act of kindness inspires more. Or maybe taking care of some household chore so your parents or roommates don't have to? Maybe that one act makes them smile for the first time that day. Going back to the list, maybe because I stayed to work a few extra hours, I was able to save that money for gas and to make more than one trip to see my family, and be a part of things that are important to them. And maybe in the process of putting in more time at work, I made my coworkers' lives easier. You just never know what might happen.
Actions have consequences, some that we never see coming. And those consequences affect more that just one person, they affect everyone around us, whether for good or bad. I'll be the first to admit, I lose sight of this idea all the time. That's why I think more people should have the reminder. I can't think of a single choice that couldn't have a potential affect on someone else, even if it's not immediate. If you can, then think again.