Change

Cause and Effect

Cause and effect. You likely first heard this term in grade school. Likely in science or history, you would be asked to identify an issue and its cause and the effects it has on the people, events, etc. involved. However, the notion of cause and effect goes far beyond the books. It applies to every aspect of our lives.

The following are a few examples, from the most basic to complex issues. A basic example: You have a long commute ahead of you. Along the way, your car stalls as you realize it ran out of gas. The issue, being out of gas, has a cause (not keeping an eye on the fuel gauge). It also has an effect; it results in you being late for work.

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Similarly, think of the notion of cause and effect regarding the effects of human development on an otherwise untouched area, such as a forest. The cause of the need for further development is rapid population growth, a booming economy, and simply to keep up with the needs of modern society. It’s effects are long-reaching and multifold. One effect is further opportunity for economic growth in that area. Other possible effects include habitat loss, sharp reduction in surrounding wildlife populations, and polluted air and waterways. The decision of whether these effects balance each other, I suppose, is up to the city and building contractors.

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Yet another example of cause and effect can be seen in pressing nationwide issues such as gun violence. Of course, this is a very complex issue with numerous, far-reaching causes and effects. But, in short, the causes of this issue lie mostly in patterns of violence, traces of mental illness or instability, and how some people can feel marginalized in today’s society. The effects are, in part, increased crime rates, demand for change and better regulation, and effective treatment of the mentally ill.

These are but a few examples, and they demonstrate the importance of analyzing cause and effect in any given situation as a way to solve and better deal with the situation. So, if you want do better, live better, eat better, etc.., analyze what got you into your current situation (though not too much). Really consider the effects repeated, consistent actions can have on your future. You may be surprised by how life can change for the better due to acknowledging cause and effect.

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