Inaction is Still Action

We are often faced with hard choices in our lives. Some seem too hard to make so we just put our head in the sand and make no choice at all. Making no choice is still a choice. Inaction is still action. This may be a difficult concept to grab and the ramifications are significant, so let’s look at it a bit deeper.


When it comes time to vote, regardless of how little you think your vote may count, choosing not to vote does not mean that you had no hand in the winner of the election. Instead, your inaction, and the inaction of many, had a giant effect on the results. When you decide that you are going to complain about the winner of that election, regardless of what level of office they fall into, your decision to not vote means that you have no say in the matter. Saying, “I would have voted for the other guy and he would have lost anyways”, is also not an excuse. What if the other guy lost by 10,000 votes and there are 20,000 people all saying the same thing. Now, the collective inaction of each of you has changed the course of countless people’s lives.

Generally, on a smaller scale, you will face this in school or at work. You will be faced with a difficult situation and you will need to make a choice. When I worked in retail, a good friend of mine and one of my subordinates, did something that required serious action to be taken. I was the only one aware of what the person did at the time and I could have easily ignored the issue and not had to face a rather stressful conversation with a good friend. Instead, I took the same steps that I would take with anyone and things played out as they should have.

In situations like these, if I had no made a choice, I would have condoned their behaviour. I would have said it was okay to continue doing what they did, which was very much not okay.

Action Takes Guts

Most of the choices that you will be faced with that you would like to dodge are going to be ones that are extremely difficult and stressful. What you are having for lunch, or deciding to skip lunch, is not really a difficult choice.  Instead, you are going to deal with difficult choices at some point in your life. It takes a great deal of courage to make those choices. If you still can not face them on your own, you need to find a support system that will help you make those particular choices. A friend that is not connected to the issue or a loved one that will simply let you vent are generally your best places to go.

Ultimately, when it is time to take action, you need a wall to bounce your thoughts off of. Let that loved one or friend be that wall. If you want their advice, let them know. If you simply want them to listen, tell them up front. Most of the time, talking out your concerns will make it significantly easier to make the choice you need to make.

Image Source: Montonara




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