January 14, 2013

Karla’s Korner: Not Me

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Not Me…

My son and I found ourselves glued to the television Friday evening watching A & E’s Parking Wars. As I flipped through the channels he noted that there are a lot of “wars” shows on and wondered why. My first instinct was to give him my classic “I don’t know” answer because I was tired and just wanted to sit quietly and escape from the realities of my own life to watch the realities of someone else’s. Trust me, after watching for a while I find myself thankful for the troubles I have. As we watched several episodes (4 to be exact) we came to the conclusion that somewhere somebody is parking peoples cars illegally thus causing them to get parking tickets because nobody would admit to doing it themselves. Quite often, the parking officer would get the blame; darn those parking officers! It amazes me at just how many people denied knowing anything about their tickets or unpaid citations. Maybe the police should launch an investigation and try to catch the parking bandit who causes all of these problems because these poor people have absolutely no idea how it all happened.

Many years ago there was a comic strip in the paper called Family Circus. The comic featured a family with two parents and several children. Anytime something wrong would happen in the comic the parents would always ask “who did it?” and every time each child would reply “not me”. In the far corner of the picture would be a little ghost like creature with “not me” written on his little ghost outfit. Apparently this little ghost would wreak havoc in the house then hide causing the parents to believe the children had misbehaved. It seemed that “Not Me” never got caught.

How many times have we heard of a crime being committed and the criminal is caught and claims it was not him/her? All we need to do it watch an episode of Parking Wars, Cops, Campus PD or any of the many crime shows on television, (okay I admit I like reality television) and we will quickly see that the “Not Me” concept is thriving. What ever happened to taking responsibility for our own actions and paying the price? Why is it so difficult to just admit when we’ve done something wrong?

As a teacher I find myself playing detective quite often. Several times a day I have to put on my detective hat and try to figure out which “not me” has behaved inappropriately. Once I have uncovered the true culprit I take the opportunity to explain to him/her that no matter what we do we must always take responsibility for what we have done. Blaming someone for something we have done is not kind; it’s just not nice. And being nice is pretty important.

How often do we find ourselves pointing our finger at the other guy? How often do we try and figure out how we can shuck our own responsibility because we want to blame someone else. Several weeks ago my son argued with me about making his bed. The blankets were in a big wad in the middle of his bed, the sheets were nowhere near tucked in and his bedspread was on the floor. He was prepared to crawl in that mess and go to sleep. After much “encouragement” he completed the task and went off to dreamland. When I tried waking him in the morning for school he mumbled and grumbled about being tired and not wanting to get up. When he finally stomped across the hallway to the bathroom I explained to him that his attitude was not helping the situation to which his reply was “well, if YOU had not made me make my bed the right way last night I would not have been so comfortable and would have been able to get up on time!” Umm wait a minute…this has suddenly become my fault. How did that happen? Of course, I was able to quickly change his “tune” and our morning progressed without further incident.

Finding fault with others is something that seems to be the norm. It seems that making excuses, passing the buck and pointing our fingers at someone else is far more okay than taking responsibility with our shortcomings and dealing with the consequences. Since children learn their behaviors from their parents it is our responsibility to teach them to become responsible adults who accept consequences for their behavior and choices. It’s really a simple concept; society has just made it more complicated. These teaching moments are not just for children; we can be examples for everyone.

Be responsible. Be the example. Set a higher standard for yourself by accepting responsibility for all that you do; the good and the not so good. Swiss American psychiatrist and famed author Elizabeth Kubler-Ross once said “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” Don’t be the one who sits on the sidelines and points their finger at someone else; be the one who accepts the consequences for their own actions knowing that in the end you will be a better person for it. By accepting the responsibility a lesson will be learned and the more lessons that are learned the better you become.



Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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