As A Child:
When I got in trouble at school, I got in twice as much trouble at home. And to make it even worse, I got in trouble all the way home because Back Then, everybody helped turn out a fine, upstanding member of society. I remembered how embarrassed I was that everybody and their mother knew I’d misbehaved, and I walked the straight and narrow from then on.
When I ate too much ice cream, my stomach hurt, so the next time I went Day’s Drug Store, I only ordered 5 scoops.
When I said something mean to somebody, I couldn’t go to sleep that night, so learned to count to ten.
When I overspent my 50-cents a week allowance, I had to do without until next Allowance Pay Day, so I learned to plan ahead and budget my allowance.
When I didn’t clean my plate, little children in China starved.
When I played close to the lawn mower, I got hit by rocks.
When I crossed my eyes, I ran the risk of them staying like that.
When I ran my hand through the candle flame, I got burned, so I made a point of not doing that again.
When I didn’t study for a test, I made a bad grade, so I learned to keep a calendar – a study schedule – and abide by it.
When I said a bad word, I got my mouth washed out with soap.
When I ate a plate of French fries, my skirts wouldn’t zip up . . . so I learned to eat only half a plate.
When I threw my childhood dirty clothes on the floor and left them there instead of putting them in the laundry hamper, I ran out of clean cloths, and before long, I learned to put the clothes in the hamper.
When I knocked on the hornet’s nest with a stick, I got stung.
As An Adult:
When I didn’t pay the phone bill, my phone was turned off, so I developed a system to make sure that didn’t happen again.
When I washed my car, it rained.
When I didn’t return library books on time, the librarian looked over her glasses at me and announced my fine total on the intercom, so I made sure to return or renew them from then on.
When I didn’t feed the cats, they sat on my face while I slept.
When I left the house without makeup on, I ran into everybody I knew.
I went in a store to purchase one of those long-necked lighters you used for candles and grills, and I had to show my driver’s license. Yes, really. Shoot, anybody who looks at me can tell I’m old enough to play with fire.
Once upon a time, consequences were our best teachers. Still could be if we’d let them.