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The Benefits of Consequences

Are consequences always a negative experience or could they be tools to teach people how to better their actions? A popular saying most people have heard is “Actions always have consequences whether good or bad”. 

Consequences are a very important part of a child’s development as well as an adult's conditioning when it comes not only to decision-making, but also to maturing. Consequences allow us to see a response to our action, whether it be good or bad. 

This allows us to then judge our actions based on those consequences, which can then shape our future actions. Say for example, you take the action of placing your hand near a fireplace as a child. 

Once your hand feels the heat enough to feel pain, you will learn from the painful experience that fire is hot. This would shape your future choices when it comes to fire, I hope.


Young children can be looked at as learning a lot from their actions and from seeing the responses of the adults to said actions. This is one of the many reasons that parenting is so important. 

If you provide the wrong consequence in response to a child’s action, they may never learn their lesson and continue said action until they meet the appropriate response from a neutral party or event. 

As a child learns that each of their actions has a result, whether it be good or bad, you can see the child making different decisions to gain better outcomes.

 For example, think of a child being put in timeout for throwing their toys or drawing on a wall. After experiencing the negative consequence and being corrected on the right action, the child will know what will happen if they make the wrong action again. 

That is not to say they will never do the wrong action again; it is to say the consequences over time are the directive and learning force needed to understand how to get better results. 

Over time and through experience, children will learn that consequences are relative to each individual situation. 

Sometimes the consequences will not be enough for them to learn from the first time, while other times, the parent or situation’s response will be more excessive than necessary. 

This would overall be more detrimental to the child's learning of why their action leads to a situation and how to do better next time.


When it comes to adults, we are able to be more aware of how our actions lead to certain consequences and how to use that to our benefit. 

With a manipulative individual, they know how to manipulate situations and avoid consequences while still taking bad things. It is a reality that consequences are different for every individual. 

These differences can be determined via a plethora of criteria. Some of these include wealth, family, status, relationships. To use an example, one person who does not know the manager of his place of employment can show up to work late one day and be fired. 

Whereas a person who is the family friend of the manager can show up late multiple times and receive at most a conversation. One Of the things I think we, as humans, attempt is to find ways to lower our consequences instead of improving our actions.


In today’s age, we would rather find a multitude of ways to lower, if not totally remove the consequences out of our bad or lazy actions than to better our actions. 

I think consequences, at their very root, are one of the foundations that help humanity move, innovate and improve. For example, not liking the consequences of gas pollution will spur on innovations in electric vehicles and solar energy. 

If the consequences are great enough, then it forces a solution to be needed or for the action altogether to be stopped. Think of the aftermath as the first atomic bombs were deployed. We as a human society realized that the loss of life was nowhere near worth the victory. 

If we spent some time looking at the marketing of products sold to us through the eyes of consequences, we would see that at the core they’re targeting our need to avoid consequences. 

The different weight loss infomercials are just trying to get people to buy their products to ease or correct the consequences of bad diet or exercise. Tech marketing is advertising why you need the latest phone or latest computer or else you won't be able to keep up with all the new functionalities. 

The clothing commercials imply that without their name brands you will not have the same social standings and so on and so forth. If you look at marketing from this perspective, all it is doing is advertising their products positively while subtly also showing the consequence of not purchasing.


In my opinion, consequences are littered all throughout life and our world. It is instrumental in how we develop as a child and in teaching us how to make a multitude of decisions, big or small. 

If we put some more thought into the sometimes-deemed mundane concept of consequences, I believe we would gain a good perspective to view our lives and choices. 

Reality is that consequences are different for each individual and entity. If we spent the time to understand them, we would have a better society as a whole. That is, however, if people choose to make the best actions that will lead to the best results possible.

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