“Why?” …why do people do what they do?…. causes lead to effects….acceptable levels of risk?


A few years ago, I  created the following one page compilation of “pages”…as I tried to figure out “why?” people do what they do….in personal life, sometimes it’s just a matter of “accepting”  the complexity, and accepting NOT being able to understand…


But sometimes, “shhhhh….” isn’t appropriate…
and neither is…. “accept….”

And, at least for me,  the past few days have been one of those times
that “shhh…” and “accept…”
simply are NOT appropriate
For me, “shhhh….. accept” of  the recent violence
and the taking of innocent human lives
is not an option.


It is, however, really difficult to figure out “why?” people might take certain actions
Trying to figure it out  can be confusing, complex and confounding
there are always so many factors involved….innumerable factors…

Each person’s individual history has so many interacting and intersecting factors,
any…or many….of which might lead to choices and actions on a person’s part
Can we change or influence these “personal” factors?…probably not very much…



And when one tries to look carefully, it’s almost impossible to figure out…
in fact, it probably is too complex to figure out…


There are so many types of factors that can be involved in that “cause-effect relationship” when trying to understand another person’s actions in any situation… we all know that causes DO lead to effects…we just may not be able to figure out WHAT those causes are.



“contributing” factors, “subtle” factors, “obvious” factors,
a great big conglomeration of potential or probable “causes”…
spread over a lifetime of intertwining, expanding causes and effects


And so….when “shhh….” and “accept….”
simply are NOT acceptable responses…
whether in this situation….
or any other situation….

How to try to ascertain some of those potential “CONTRIBUTING”  factors…
factors that we just MIGHT have some influence over…?
We don’t have much influence over “PERSONAL” factors…
But, we can look at and try to understand some potential,  contributing factors…
factors that might be contributing to repeated problematic situations
factors that we CAN influence…
not definite…but possible….


And so….
so many questions, concerns…
potentially confusing…

What I do “know,”   however,
is that human life is precious…
very very precious
And in current everyday life,
we need to decide…
what do we, as a society,
consider “an acceptable level of risk”
for allowing “possible factors”
that can lead to the loss of innocent human lives…

And if we decide…
that the choices, laws and habits of the society
are posing an UN-acceptable level of risk
to our families, friends, loved ones, strangers
to all human beings…
WHAT are we going to DO about it?

Because, just like the cause and effect relationship in “why?” things happens,
we are PART of another cause-effect relationship…
about whether to ignore, be passive, speak out, take action….
whatever we choose… WILL have an effect…
is the effect the one that we really want?????

And so… “why?”….
in this current situation…and other situations….
Do we know exactly “why?”…. no
Can we make some observations and hypotheses?….yes
Do we want this type of violence to continue?….. obviously….no
Do we care enough to speak out?….. ????

Causes…..ALWAYS lead to….effects…
sometimes sooner….sometimes later…
sometimes identifiable, sometimes not…
but effects WILL happen

May we choose wisely.
for those who can speak firmly and clearly…please do so
for those who aren’t ready…please support those who are able to…
Let there be no doubt
causes lead to effects

And so…
may we choose wisely…


For any of us….
if this issue resonates,
or for any other issue that might be dear to your heart
to consider doing
whatever small thing each one of us can do…

I can make my own kind of “pages”….
and post them on a blog…
and this is what I’ve done
this is the “something” that I can do


About Pocket Perspectives

A blog about shifting perspectives...
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12 Responses to “Why?” …why do people do what they do?…. causes lead to effects….acceptable levels of risk?

  1. cuhome says:

    Thanks for doing so much with this.


  2. judithhb says:

    The Helen Keller quote is one I have used often, with my children, family and friends. Every major change has been brought about with one person having the will to make the change. One obvious example here in NZ is the Fireworks Lady – Beverley Pentland was horrified at the harm caused by fireworks. Beginning in the 1970s, she visited hundreds of schools and community groups and became known as ‘the fireworks lady’. She died shortly before new legislation restricting fireworks sales was passed in 1985.
    So each of us can make a difference in some small or in her case, large way.


    • What a wonderful quote for you to have used for so many years! I just heard it a few years ago, when I was starting this blog. (and I had lived for a year at Perkins School for the Blind and taught Deaf-blind children for 7 years…but hadn’t heard the quote)
      As you write…”one person having the will to make the change…”…hopefully someone in America will soon start getting more momentum going. How remarkable that Beverley Pentland put her energies into such an important change…and succeeded! And even small differences are important…


  3. sufilight says:

    My compassion goes for all involved in this tragedy, most of all to the victims and their families, and for the family of the murderer. I even feel some compassion for the murderer. He has to be insane or in a deep dark personal mental hell to commit a horrendous act like that. Your message is very helpful and timely; we need to rethink as a society of how much is too much when it comes to violent games and easy access to weapons and amno; there are too many unstable humans in our planet.


    • Yes, my heart goes out to them all too…including the young man’s family and himself…he must have been in a personal hell for many months…one never knows who might “crack” and who might not..but to be aware that some will and to decrease the factors that might contribute to that…or to the actions that might be taken… it is so sad how many unstable people are living such lives of struggle.


  4. Robin says:

    Things like this are so horrible that I have a hard time wrapping my head around the why’s of it. If I ruled the world, there would be no guns or bombs or weapons of any kind. I suppose that wouldn’t deter some people (after all, so many objects are useful as a weapon if you want them to be), but it might make violence more difficult to achieve, especially at this level.

    Lots of food for thought here as usual. Thank you. 🙂


    • Hopefully, lots of people are thinking and pondering ideas such as these… I seldom post about my social/justice opinions…. But….hmmmmm???….causes leading to effects???….maybe the following is a cause-effect reaction….I went to a powerful, deeply moving, heart touching and thought provoking Woody Guthrie musical retrospective in Berkeley on Thursday night…that might have awakened a strong sense of social conscience in me….and of using whatever voices we might each have….Woody’s point: “This land IS our land”… so to try to make it/keep it going in as positive and ethical a manner as we can…of course, opinions vary about how to do that.
      I think the “why’s”…the causes… are so vast that we can’t really understand…my thought is that we can work to minimize/moderate the “effects” as much as possible…as you say, people will find some type of weapon…they will find something…but, I think that to minimize that “level” of weapons available is prudent… Thanks, Robin, for your feedback and ideas…


  5. eof737 says:

    We are complex beings with many shades of behaving.. I like your graphics. 😉


    • That complexity of people and components of their behavior really is quite astounding!
      I hope the graphics I come up with help others “get” ideas, too. I usually make/create the graphics to help myself “understand” a concept that I can’t get to “go in” with words or using the language of words…so I gave up and switched to the language of graphics and symbols…they often “work” better for me.


  6. This is Nice and valuable information and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration……


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