I recall my father pushing me to take risks constantly when I was a kid.
In one of my previous posts, I elaborated on how he’s one of the reasons I have continued my studies in writing. Back in high school, I was too scared to participate in class, which took a toll on my grades. My father assured me there was no reason to be embarrassed; no idea or suggestion I had was dumb or stupid, and ANY question is a GOOD question.
Besides encouraging me to step up to the plate in my academic studies, my father taught me the greatest lesson:
When I acted out as a young child – said something rude, acted inappropriately – my dad always made sure I knew what I did was wrong but also that I understood.
In elementary school one year, my school took a boat trip for the day. My parents and a few others were chaperoning. One of the mom’s had brought a cooler filled with drinks for her kids. Earlier in the day she had offered me lemonade. Being an entitled six year old, I assumed I deserved all the contents in the cooler. Without asking, I rummaged through the cooler and took what I pleased.
On the ride home, my parents had confronted my actions. It wasn’t until my dad sat down with me, one-on-one, that I had realized I was being selfish and unfair. To make me understand my dad made me write and illustrate a story about my poor choices. I remember poorly drawing myself taking lemonade on the lined paper. After I finished the storyboard, my dad had me present it to him and then explain why it was wrong and why I won’t do it again.
Now – I haven’t made my dad a storybook apology since the fourth grade, but it taught me a wonderful lesson that I still live by.
At twenty years old, my last concern is how much lemonade I am drinking; my main focus is doing well in school and surrounding myself with supportive friends.
If I am not doing well in a subject… It’s not the professor’s problem, it’s mine!
If a friend of mine is treating me poorly… That’s on me too!
It’s so easy to blame the other person, but at the end of the day, I put myself in a tricky situation and I initiated a bad behavior.
At age six I hated taking responsibility; being twenty doesn’t make any difference.
I made a bad decision; I don’t want to come clean, but it’s the best thing to do.
When you take responsibility, you’ll be the first to let go and move on.
You are so right, it’s so easy to blame others. Responsibility is freedom.