You can throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window

(photo by BigMan50)

But you can’t make your neighbor like it.

In our news the last five days we’ve seen a war zone of stories about generals and their families, and about women hiding in homes from telephoto lenses. We don’t see the very human part of the conversations going on in those families and homes. But we can guess.

We can guess it’s not much fun right now. If only you could reverse time and go back to when things were normal! 

And with all the cameras, stories, and scoops on what really happened and why, there’s bound to be some really bad reporting mixed in there somewhere. And when you’re the subject of the bad reporting it just drives you mad.

Isn’t the truth bad enough? Who gave people the right to invent your motivations and dig up irrelevant stuff and get so much wrong and then act like vultures and broadcast it to the world? Who do those people think they are?

It’s too late for that.

It’s too late to complain or try to control.

You’re not going to get any sympathy.

You’re just making it worse.

The time to influence people’s reaction to you is when you make the decision or do the deed.

And even then you don’t have much control.

Back in the old days I could choose to drink, but I couldn’t choose my wife’s reaction. Lecturing her on her reaction would be idiotic, even if she got some details wrong.

You can choose to finally tell your boss off. You can choose to give your spouse the silent treatment and be convinced they deserve it. You can choose to belch loudly and repeatedly during your daughter’s wedding vows.

You can do all that. You’re free!

But you can’t choose the consequences, or control what people say or think about what you do.

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. Abbie

    Sometimes it’s not your fault, but you are impacted by someone else’s choice. And you still have your reaction, that is yours, however you choose to play it.

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