Saturday, September 23, 2023

Unintended Consequences

 One of my favorites phenomenons in the universe is that of unintended consequences. We think we have every angle covered resulting from our plans, only when things unfold, at the very least exposing a new wrinkle, or in the worst case scenario, have the entire scheme blow up in our faces. If you're a writer, you learn to appreciate the value of unintended consequences. After all, the best stories start with bad decisions, which at the time, seemed actually like good decisions. Unintended consequences make for great plot twists. Crooks rob a bank thinking it'll be an easy haul, only to discover all kinds of unintended consequences. Like the money brings out treacherous greed from your accomplices, or that the heist inadvertently bankrupted the family of a detective and the investigation becomes a personal vendetta. Better roads into the mountains to improve traffic safety brings more tourists, creating a demand for more housing, driving up the cost of real estate, requiring more infrastructure, straining water resources, drawing more traffic, and in full circle, a need for better roads! Wars are replete with unintended consequences, namely that they spin out of control. 

Closer in, I've started feeding the neighborhood squirrels. Yes, I was aware that soon I'd become beholden to the squirrel mafia and their relentless demands for more peanuts and bird seeds. And I was aware that I would become attached to several of the furry critters, even to the point of giving them names. In this case, one of the unintended consequences was that well-fed squirrels would mean well-fed foxes. Thankfully, none of our favorite tree rodents has gone MIA. But a good unintended consequence was that beside feeding the squirrels, the crows helped themselves to our offered bounty. And very unexpectedly, one of the crows brought this glass bead in appreciation.

1 comment:

Anna Chapman said...

Crows are smart! Just like their raven cousins. I have no doubt at all that the glass bead was a true gift and an expression of authentic gratitude (unless maybe it was a bribe....).