The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Sandy Laumeyer
Just a Thought 

Responsibility

 


I’ve heard people of all ages say “It’s not my fault” when something goes wrong. I heard it from my own children over the years and my answer was “Well, whose fault was it, then? Sorry but that doesn’t cut it with me. You need to accept the responsibility of your actions and its consequences.”

Responsibility for one’s actions should and must begin at an early age. Even a 5-year-old knows what is wrong and right. They know they were the one who broke a vase or took a piece of candy or cookie when they were told not to. Taught properly, they are aware there are consequences for when they do something wrong. They also know those consequences will be carried out. Parents should never tell a child if you do this, this is what will happen, and then not follow through.

I read and hear of so many stories of people not accepting the responsibility of their actions. They seem to think it’s okay to blame somebody else. It seems to be so common place to blame on others that I wonder what happened. When did this mentality of not accepting the responsibility of one’s actions begin?

I remember my parent telling me, if you get into trouble at school you’ll also be in trouble at home. I knew that meant not only would I be punished at school for something I did wrong, I’d also have to answer to my parents. Believe me that made me think twice at times.

It wasn’t because my parents were abusive by any means. But they wanted me to grow up knowing right from wrong and that there are consequences to all of our decisions and actions. They taught me to accept responsibility for my decisions and actions.

The beginning of spring seems to often bring out the desire to do something we wouldn’t normally do. That was the case with me my freshman year in high school.

One of my girlfriends and I were in study hall together. We really liked the teacher who was on duty. But we decided to pass notes back and forth to see how long we could get away with it. Just before study hall was over, the teacher said he wanted to see us before we left.

We were both a bit nervous about talking with him. He told us he had seen us passing notes back and forth all hour so we were both going to have detention after school for three days.

Oh how I dreaded telling my parents I would be a half hour later than usual getting home for three days after school because I was in detention. But I knew if I didn’t tell them, I’d be questioned as to why I was late coming home and that if I skipped out on detention, the teacher would call my parents.

Since my parents knew how much I loved to read books, they said I couldn’t read any book except the ones I needed for school for one week. I was crushed. I was also told I would have to wash the dishes by myself for a week -- a chore I really didn’t like.

That incident has stayed with me all my life.

Accepting responsibility for our decisions and actions is part of what defines us. It’s also what we as parents and grandparents need to teach our children.

 

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