Few of us – especially when young – think past our actions to the consequences.
We say stupid thing. We do stupid things too.
Some of us eventually grow out of it…
If you wish, you can even formally study this in school. Some disciplines (Economics and Physics, for example) even try to account for second, third, and fourth step effects.
That said, it takes a special kind of ethic to act with others under consideration too.
We need more of this.
Let’s teach our children to think more about the consequences for others.
There’s a particular kind of explanation that works especially well in enforcing discipline. When the Oliners examined the guidance of the Holocaust rescuers’ parents, they found that they tended to give “explanations of why behaviors are inappropriate, often with reference to their consequences for others.” While the bystanders’ parents focused on enforcing compliance with rules for their own sake, the rescuers’ parents encouraged their children to consider the impact of their actions on others.
-Adam Grant, Originals