The Repercussions of Unanticipated Acts
Sometimes the things that stick with me from a book are the little things -- the throwaway comments and observations that on the surface really don't have a lot to do with the story being told. Yes, I can be a bit random and it's only fitting that one of the things that is sticking with me from Jeffrey Zaslow's The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters really has nothing to do with wedding gowns, marriage or even love. I am talking about unanticipated acts.
Ashley Brandenburg was one of the brides highlighted in The Magic Room. Her mother, Sue, had also been a Becker's bride. Weeks before her own wedding, Sue was in a car accident in which she sustained a serious head injury. When Sue was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease later in life her doctors thought that there might be a connection to that accident long ago. The diagnosis, and potential connection with that accident, reminded Ashley how her father often spoke of "the repercussions of one unanticipated act" (p.136).
There's something about the idea one unanticipated act... I just can't stop thinking about it. While I believe Ashely's father was speaking more to the acts that happen to us rather than the decisions we make, I keep going back through my memories and thinking about how the littlest of decisions have had huge impacts on my life. There was the time I got on a bus in 2007 to travel to another city for a business meeting, not knowing that I'd end up marrying one of the co-workers I was meeting for the first time that day. There's the decision we made to drive down a different street one day in 2008. We saw a sign on a lawn and the next thing we knew we'd found the apartment we'd live in for the next two years.
Every decision causes a ripple. Even the smallest thing can impact us years down the road. It's a fabulous, scary, horrible, wonderful thought.
Have you seen the ripple effect of small actions in your own life?