Tiny Choices, Tremendous Impact

Navigating the Ethics of Everyday Decisions

Elumar De Sa
3 min readMar 4, 2024
Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Think about the last three choices you made. Maybe it was what to eat for breakfast. Or how to respond to that slightly annoying work email. Or if you should hit “snooze” one more time. They seem trivial, right? Just little moments floating by in the grand scheme of your day.

But what if I told you those seemingly insignificant choices hold more power than you think?

Every day, we’re faced with a constant barrage of decisions. And each one, no matter how ordinary, carries hidden ethical weight. It’s in how you spend your money and the words you choose (or don’t). Do you opt for the easier path or the one that feels just a bit harder?

Now, I’m not saying you need to agonize over buying organic bananas. But I do want you to think twice. Because those tiny decisions, they add up. They ripple outwards. They form a kind of ethical tapestry that defines who you are and the kind of world you’re helping to build.

Let me share a story. Back when I was a broke college kid, I found a $20 bill on the sidewalk. It was a lifeline, pure and simple. But a nagging voice in my head asked, “What if somebody lost this — somebody who needs it more than I do?” Long story short, I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the owner. Did I ever? Nope. But I know I made the right choice that day.

The challenge isn’t always about grand moral dilemmas. It’s about being mindful in the mundane. Do you swipe an extra handful of sugar packets from the coffee shop (hey, they won’t miss them, right?) Or do you remind yourself that even small choices can reflect your character?

So, how can you ensure your everyday choices align with the person you want to be? Here’s a thought exercise:

  • Picture your ethical blueprint. Not a long list of commandments, mind you. Just a few core things you believe in — stuff like kindness and honesty. How can you live those values, even in the little moments?
  • Question your knee-jerk responses. Before you hit “send” on that snarky email, pause. Does it reflect your best self? Is there a kinder, more constructive way to communicate?
  • Embrace the struggle. Sometimes, the ethical path is the hard one. Are you willing to inconvenience yourself a little to do the right thing?

Look, this isn’t about being perfect. Lord knows I make questionable choices pretty damn often. But it is about being intentional. It’s about recognizing the power of your daily decisions and shaping who you are, one choice at a time.

Your thoughts matter! What small choices did you make today that reflect your values? Share your experiences below. Let’s cultivate an uplifting community where we learn from each other’s journeys towards mindful living.

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Elumar De Sa

Apple Manager & Future Author of 'The Dark Side of Intention' | Bridging Technology and Ethics for Conscious Decision-Making and Ethical Engagement