Thursday, October 11, 2012

"It wasn't my fault..."

This is Zoe. She is 8. Earlier this week she reported to us at dinner that she had her name and a check mark on the board that day at school. What came right after the share was, "It wasn't my fault..." I have been a parent for nearly 13 years. I know this song... So, I ask - "Who was at fault?" Strangely - it was the teacher, the child sitting next to her, the wind... But, she is 8. And, we are learning.

This is Jerry Sandusky. He is not 8. Today this headline appeared at the CNN homepage. And, yet the message is the same as my little charmer pictured above. In the article it stated that at his sentencing, "They did not try to extol Jerry's virtues, list good deeds or express regret. Instead, they depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars. They blamed the young men... for their downfall."  (Full article)

So, today's question - When is it your fault? When are you responsible?

Perhaps I have lived enough life to have made so many mistakes, errors, bad decisions that the ability to own what I have done no longer brings me to my knees. Maybe. Or, perhaps I know that when I have done something wrong, I am the most pure version of me when I express those simple words that take ownership for my actions. My mistakes do not define me or my value. They are a part of what I've done - and learning from them makes me better.

Be real. Be true. Be someone who never, ever, leads with "It wasn't my fault" when all of those around know. Take ownership of who you are, what you've done, what you stand for. Respect will follow. I promise.

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