Circumstance: Law of Cause and Effect

Who or what is responsible for circumstance?

Is it as simple as scientists believe – a cause is followed by an effect? As a science teacher I stressed the law of cause and effect. I loved “If … then” statements. For example, if you apply more force, then the object will move faster. Experimental science is based on this principle.

Ordinary experience also follows this principle. If your parents were well-to-do, then you will have a comfortable life; if your parents lived in poverty, then you will live in poverty … that is, unless you do something to change what is bound to happen because of this universal principle. You have to force a new “If … then” statement into your sequence of experiences.

Obvious examples where life’s outcomes or effects can be  traced back to irrefutable specific choices or causes are:

  • overeating leads to being overweight or obese;
  • too much alcohol results in liver disease;
  • spending more than you earn will bankrupt you; and 
  • spending little time caring about others leaves you without close relationships.

Sometimes the originating cause may be difficult to determine. It’s not enough to say it’s fate or destiny since that leads to wondering about what or who decided on that fate or destiny. Some circumstances leave us pondering if there is a God, spirit or higher rationale that we are unable to understand.

If you strictly follow the Law of Cause and Effect you arrive at the conclusion that whatever is or happens was meant to be or happen. Let me say that again:

“Whatever is or happens was meant to be or happen.”

Since there was a cause that created the effect, the effect was meant to happen.

If we look at inanimate objects, this seems to be true. Think about your car door. It was meant to be opened. When you grasp the handle to open the door or press the “open” button on your keyless remote device, you are the cause.

If we extend this relationship to human behaviour, the effects in our lives are meant to be. But, who or what is responsible for the cause that preceded these effects? Ultimately it’s you! Even though others may have been involved, as causes, you eventually had to choose how to respond. Your choices determine your experiences.

Assuming you have goals, your choices will move you toward your expectations or away from them. When you act with the end in mind, you initiate the “cause” that leads to the desired “effect”. If the effect does not occur, then either you did not initiate the appropriate cause or there is another circumstance (cause), or more, occurring as well.

Your choices determine your experiences. If you want different experiences, choices must be made that cause you to change. The changes will require you to develop new habits and skills, which is easier said than done. What about motivation? How will you overcome your inertia and resistance to change? Will your beliefs, value and priorities have to change as well? There could be a need to develop a new consciousness – or does it start there?

You must take personal responsibility.

You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.

That is something you have charge of.


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