Cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are tightly regulated to prevent tissue damage. ROS also help to monitor different cell fates, suggesting that a 'ROS rheostat' exists in cells. It is well established that ROS are crucial for stem cell biology; in this review, we discuss how mitochondria! ROS influence hematopoietic cell fates. We also examine the importance in this process of BID and other BCL-2 family members, many of which have been implicated in regulating cell fates by modulating mitochondrial integrity/activity and cell cycle progression in the hematopoietic lineage. Based on this knowledge, we propose that selected BCL-2 proteins coordinate mitochondria and nuclear activities via ROS to enable 'synchronized' cell fate decisions.