It is often difficult to foresee the end results of an action when it is initiated, although we are constantly taking actions that have far-reaching outcomes. That's exactly what life is all about.
Sometimes the results are serendipitous (look that one up), sometimes calamitous or run-of-the-mill or even unobserved. Generally, I think, we must look back and analyze situations in order to realize the cause/effect steps.
Of course I am stating obvious conclusions, but that train of thought began when I attempted to relate the term "sequestration" to the current political standstill.
Apparently when the decision was made to set a deadline for specific appropriations to be determined or else specific cuts would automatically occur, those decision-makers were certain that the threat would be sufficient to initiate the necessary actions. Parents are very familiar with this tactic. Now that the appointed time has come, politicians and citizens are facing the severity of what has been "sequestered." And it is not a pleasant picture.
On the other hand, some recent local events can remind us of happier results of actions initiated earlier. For instance, when Lillian Taylor insisted, at least sixty years ago, on planting and protecting her magnolia trees, she had no thought of their being recognized as Dawson County Champions. But it happened at the Arbor Day ceremony.
Other trees similarly recognized probably just grew where the seeds fell, but they, too, were purposely protected, as were those in the Crooked Tree subdivision (named Tree Preservationist of the Year) when it was developed. Good decisions, all.
Those actions have brought, and should continue to bring, pleasure to many people over the decades. So has the decision over 25 years ago to establish a "helping hand" in the RIC Rack and the willingness over the years of many people to help that institution grow and develop.
One of those people, Ken Newell, was honored with a "We Care" Award at the annual meeting of Dawson County Homeowners Civic Association, as was Jane Graves, president of that organization, especially for her decision to block the "sludge distribution."
These deliberate decisions are having, and will have, wide-ranging effects on our citizens.
That DCHCA meeting also caused me (and hopefully others) to make a decision: Prepare a "Ready Kit" in case of a tornado or other natural disaster. The list given to us by Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond is broader than my water, flashlight, food and kerosene lamp collection. I hope, nevertheless, to have no reason to use that kit.
However, the stimulus to write this column actually came from a Dawson County Woman's Club member when several of us were discussing the value of the club's sponsorship of "Juniorettes," an organization of high school girls whose projects are probably establishing a continuing commitment to community service. Who knows what good leadership will result from the decision to cultivate these seeds.
Two Dawson County teachers recently saw their leadership roles being recognized: Reggie Stowers inducted into the Georgia Agriculture Education Hall of Fame, and Anne Hyams into the North Georgia Athletics Hall of Fame. When interviewed, each referred to early decisions which led to success in their respective fields.
Too often, our newscasts are filled with stories of murders and other horrible results of bad decisions. As we wonder how someone could be that evil or even just thoughtless, we might consider the long-range consequences of some of our own decisions.
Helen Taylor's column appear periodically in the Dawson Communtiy News.