The Consequences of Our Decisions

Coconut Tree beach

Coconut tree at Eratap Resort, Vanuatu

With every decision we make in life — or the decision is made for us, without our consent — there are consequences. I’ve learned from that over the years. It’s one of the reasons that I try to stay one step ahead of myself. Or, I could run with this explanation: it’s not a quirk, it’s a personality trait that’s a bit off center. I suspect we all harbor those kinds of thoughts from time to time about ourselves.

For example, during my flight from Honolulu to Brisbane, enroute to Vanuatu, I pawed through an “emergency kit” of sorts, a convenience package they call it. The name made me admire marketing. It’s how Larry Ellison got away with rehabbing an entire island and calling it a “Lanai beautification project.” This convenience package includes toothpaste, a toothbrush, earplugs in case you didn’t bring your own, and other niceties such as socks and a blindfold mask.

Eratap Pool

Eratap Resort pool at Honeymoon Beach, Vanuatu

I removed my sandals, put on my socks, and was about to dose off when I noticed a dip due to air pressure. We were over the ocean. OK, if the plane were to crash into the water, and I somehow managed to survive, would I be better off with socks on my feet or barefoot? I was thinking probably barefoot was the better option, anything to help keep me from sinking and drowning. On the other hand, socks would provide an insulating layer between me and the %$#* freezing waters, as I frantically paddled about because I could not remember how to pull the stinkin’ cord or blow into the tube, on top of which I was wearing the lifejacket around my ankles.

If only I hadn’t put on those socks.

See, consequences.

This is the type of stuff I think about. Well, that and imagining Captain Kirk out on the wing. Can’t help myself.

Reef Eratap

Reef at Eratap, Vanuatu

I try to be proactive and think about consequences before I do anything. And I pass that kind of protection along to my clients when I sell Sacramento real estate. I’m always trying to think ahead, about what could go wrong and to prevent it. The thing I would hate most to hear from a client is “Why didn’t you tell me this could happen?”

In some cases, unfortunately, an agent may get accused anyway. The problem is I can’t always predict what could happen and, if you want to know the truth, there are a bazillion things that could go haywire in any given transaction at any given time. A veteran agent, an experienced Sacramento Realtor, knows this and takes steps to stop it from occurring. But I can’t read crystal balls. I can’t always know exactly what kind of “left turn without signaling” a buyer might decide to take.

I can’t predict that a buyer in good health will die in the middle of a transaction in a horrific car accident on the way to work. I can’t predict that a mortgage company will go belly-up. I can’t predict that a tree will fall on the house during a Sacramento rainstorm. Stuff happens. But I do believe it happens much less in my escrows because I try to anticipate the consequences of subsequent decisions for my clients.

I can predict that if I try to enter the ocean by swimming past a reef at low tide coupled with high current, I could get slammed face first into the reef by the waves. Coral is sharp. It’s probably not a good idea to run out my front door and jump in the water. Two weeks at a South Pacific paradise helps to prepare me to handle any kind of consequences.

Photos: Eratap Resort, Efate Island, Vanuatu, by Elizabeth Weintraub

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