Actions have consequences

Something I’ve been pondering on lately:

Every one of our actions could have unintended, serious consequences. History is full of casual events that have enormous causal significance.

Take, for example, the Battle of Gettysburg. If General Lee hadn’t believed an untested spy about the location of the Union Army, or if General Ewell hadn’t been afraid to take initiative and seized Cemetery Hill at the start of the battle, or if Lee had listened to General Longstreet and not attacked the then fortified Union position–not once, but twice, or if Colonel Chamberlain hadn’t made an audacious, nearly suicidal charge into the Confederate ranks to prevent the Union Army from being flanked, then the South would likely have won Gettysburg, and proceeded to Philadelphia or Washington, effectively ending the War Between the States.

What might the North American continent look like today if silly mistakes or outlandish risks hadn’t been taken?

We could take any major event in history and pry it apart like so.

It should make us wonder about our own actions. Sure, we’re not fighting in a major military battle, but what good might we be leaving undone? If we think that, say, one more person praying in front of an abortion clinic might not make much difference, just look back in history. What if, as you stand by the highway praying, a friend drives by who’s struck by your witness as she is agonizing over what to do with her unintended pregnancy?


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