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My son will be graduating from high school this year, and in the Fall he will "leave the nest" and go to Toronto University. It is an exciting time for an 18 year old, and I have no doubt that he will have (more than?) his share of fun, in addition to his studies.

This is also an age where many people come to realize some of life's harsh realities, and one of those is that our actions can have serious consequences. I know people that are unable to travel to the US because they have a criminal record ... 20 years ago they were caught smoking marijuana, etc. Many jobs today require applicants to complete a background check, and a criminal record could impact getting the job, whether it was marijuana, drunk driving or some other "relatively" minor offence.

Some common actions that have been known to have serious consequences:

- A few drinks, out with some friends and an argument happens. Blows are exchanged and someone dies after banging their head on the sidewalk. You could be the person on the sidewalk or you could be the person who will pay for the bad choice.
- A few drinks, over the limit but its not far to get home. Stopped by the police means a conviction and a lost license, worse an accident might cost a life.
- Applying for a job you embellish your resume ... later as a senior manager you are caught. Being fired, disgraced and labeled a liar is a tough consequence.

Obviously there a million decisions, big and small, that can have consequences. So what is the answer?

Never get to the point where you don't have control enough to make sane decisions. Always think through the consequences of your actions and develop a moral compass that is built on values that you can believe in and which can guide your decisions. Life is a fabulous journey that will include every emotion and can truly bring great satisfaction. It is a terrible shame when a poor decision ruins that promise!

Walk Fast and Smile!