|Choices and their Consequences
Choices...we make hundreds, possibly thousands each day, many that have lasting and potentially serious repercussions. And many which affect others as much as they affect us.
When I began my first book, Planted by the Rivers of Waters, I wrote to address a common problem women face: namely, being abandoned by a spouse for a younger woman.
Rachel Todd's story begins as she faces that situation; after nearly thirty years of marriage, her husband, Paul Todd, abandons her for a much younger woman. And while Rachel's circumstances are sad, she realizes she is in a much better place than most women that face similar situations because she is a woman of independent means.
In creating Rachel, my protagonist, I chose to make her a woman of wealth for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to be able to use this character to inspire others, and to encourage those who might need to rebuild their own lives. Rachel rises above her own personal circumstances, and uses her wealth to begin again. In doing so, she discovers hidden talents and strengths, while forging new relationships with people that have common needs: love, acceptance and a new beginning.
I'm sure there are and will be readers that will find it difficult to relate to Rachel because of her wealth, or perhaps her remarriage to a celebrated actor. If you are one, you might consider reading the chapter I wrote in my newest novel, The Doorkeeper, to address these concerns as seen through Rachel's eyes. In a discussion with a mentor and friend, Myra Clayborn, Rachel ponders her ability to truly understand and relate to the common man. Here is an excerpt:
"I hope so," I replied. "Chris and I are both incredibly busy people, but we have the benefit of having numerous resources that others lack. Sometimes, I feel guilty having so much, and it causes me to wonder if either of us can truly relate to the burden of the common man."
"Oh, Rachel, I think you and Chris are much more common than you know, and I mean that in the nicest way possible." We laughed and she continued, "I may be wrong, but I believe the only people who can't relate to others are those who focus on the differences between them rather than on their similarities."
"I think Chris does a much better job at relating to people than I do," I laughed. "He grew up in a working class family; I grew up with wealth—inherited wealth and married wealth. My first husband, Paul Todd, also came from a wealthy family, and together we amassed a small fortune. Even after our divorce, I returned home and began several fruitful enterprises. Now I'm married to an incredibly devoted and loving man who is also an Academy Award-winning movie star, charming and handsome."
"Those are all blessings, yes, but they don't make you abnormal. Your lifestyle is different from most, but I don't think it's so different that people can't relate to you or you to them. You eat and drink, you laugh and cry, and you bleed when you're wounded just like anyone else. You've been confronted by death, helped friends battle cancer and addictions, been lonely and befriended those who are lonely; you've lost at love and loved again. These are all things that average people face everyday—things we can all relate to.
"And so I think that the only people who can't relate to you are those who choose not to try—those who choose to remain separate or apart, those who choose to look for differences rather than similarities, those who choose to believe their life struggles are different from yours and everyone else's.
"Your husband is a movie star; that means some aspects of your life will be different from a woman whose husband is an engineer—just as the life of a woman whose husband is a doctor will be different from one whose husband is a janitor, or a race car driver, or a school teacher.
"In the end, relating to others is a matter of choice, isn't it, Rachel? We choose to relate to others, regardless of their differences, because we care. And if you look for similarities rather than differences, you just might find someone in whom you truly delight."
"A matter of choice," Myra declares in redress to Rachel's concerns about her ability to relate to others, and their ability to relate to her. There are many reasons why relationships with some are easier than those with others, but mostly, it is a matter of choice. We either choose to look for commonalities, or we choose to focus on differences.
Choice...Rachel's divorce occurs because her husband chooses to leave her and begin a new relationship with another woman. Rachel, in this situation, is forced to accept his decision. Her only choice in this matter is how she will react to his abandonment. She chooses to forge ahead, and begin a new life; one that is filled with challenges and adventures.
Choices have consequences; every seed sown into the soil of a life eventually reaps a harvest, either in this world or the next. In Planted by the Rivers of Water, and the novels that follow it, my readers will come to witness the consequences my characters reap for the actions they take. They will witness the redemption of some, and the destruction of others. But most importantly, they will witness the love of Almighty God working among His creation; the One who seeks to know men and women on a personal level; the One who sent His Son to die to redeem them from their sins so that could happen.
Yes, choices do have consequences; therefore we must make wise choices. "...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7 KJV
 Scarrott, M.I., The Doorkeeper, pages 179-180.