The Wisdom of Common Sense

Through counseling people almost every day who are going through some kind of crisis, certain patterns emerge. Once in a while people are genuinely on the receiving end of something they had no part whatsoever in creating. These folk are haunted by trying to figure out what they could have done, or not done, to avoid a terrible event. Usually though, people have done much to create the outcome, but are frantically trying to make the problem go away when it inevitably occurs.

When a young person gets a new checking account, they are, at first, writing down each check amount and number with great care. After a while though, he begins to wonder, “I am not sure what will really happen if I write a check knowing that I do not have enough money in my account.” When a letter is in the mailbox a few days later telling that not only did that check bounce, but the bank charged $29 for the experiment, the person is feeling many emotions. One is surprise that things work exactly the way he was told. One is a strange sense of calmness, having learned, without question that, well, things work exactly the way he was told. Even something as mundane as a checking account can be easily misused because of this phenomenon.

Now let’s apply it to something infinitely more complex, emotional and important for all of us: People often use the same logic with the sexual health. The only way to find out for sure how many people you have to have sex with to catch an STD is to catch one–now you know. The only way to find out just how risky–in terms of pregnancy–that your sexual activity is to keep doing what you are doing until you are pregnant–now you know. The same person may be curious just what it takes for the ice to give way on a frozen lake and proceeds to walk, skip, or even jump until it is too late. In other words, the only way to find out is to allow what you really do not want. Basic health and common sense should take place to youthful curiosity.

If you are not sure you want to be pregnant, don’t do exactly what it takes to get pregnant because your body might think that is what you want. If you are not sure that sex with this particular person is what you want, decide only to not have sex with that person, but keep out of situations where your decision might be compromised. If you are not sure if abortion is a good idea that you can live with, don’t have one. With important healthy issues, many which are not reversible, begin thinking before you have a problem. Then you may not have to be frantically looking for something to grab onto when you emotionally fall through the ice.

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