I don’t know why we have a dog. Really I don’t. He barks, chews on stuff, wedges himself in between everyone, forces me to come home for lunch so he can go potty, but still tends to poop in the floor every once in a while. But then you see your kids hugging the dog, and you kind of figure out why Santa brought him.
But I digress……
Today was one of my favorite days of the year, National Signing Day for college football. For those of you who are UT Martin grads, we had a huge day. We’ve come a long way in the past 12 years. We are now competing with Middle Tennessee, Memphis, Western Kentucky, and other FBS schools for recruits, and that’s a big deal…..a REALLY BIG deal.
But I digress….
As I approach the end of my fourth decade on God’s green earth, I am wondering just what happened to my physical body. Being a father of girls, I rarely throw a baseball anymore, but a few weeks ago I got to throw one with a very talented 14 year old. It was the first time in a LONG time. It hurt, and it was scary. I realized for the first time that I am getting older. My reflexes have slowed and it hurts to run and jump. I’m scared to death to break out in a full sprint, or even play half court basketball for fear of pulling my hamstring or blowing out my knee.
Like the Cora Armstrong’s quote above, I’m wondering what he H-E-double hockey sticks happened to me!
My body is now holding me accountable for my actions.
Accountability is a scary word. It conjures up pride and panic, success and failure, and fight versus flight.
The most troublesome part of that word is how easily we chunk it around. It’s almost like calling someone a liar, racist, cheater, or thief without any knowledge of said labels.
I always loved the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie “didn’t say Fudge” and had his mouth washed out with soap, and the ensuing phone call.
Raphie’s mom to Schwarz’s mother, “Do you know where he heard it?”
Schwartz’s mom, “From his father?”
Ralphie’s Mom, ” No, he heard it from YOUR son.”
Now we all know Ralphie’s old man, “worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master.” Despite this, Schwartz was held accountable and took the beating of a lifetime.
Like Raphie’s mom, we take an adult to task for cussing around our children in public, yet drop the “F” bomb like a drunken sailor in the confines of our own home.
We want to hold the teacher accountable for our student’s academic performance, but neglect their basic needs at home.
We want other adults to hold their children accountable for their actions, as ours run around like wild animals without any regards to others.
We want to write letters, give presentations, and run our mouths about something we don’t like (and are uneducated about), then shake our heads and say, “that’s not my job.”
Accountability is a lost art at home, in our marriages, in the workplace, in our relationships, the halls of congress, on the field of play, the playgrounds, in church, in the community, at schools, the list could go on and on.
How do we fix it? I don’t know. I’m really good at pointing out the problems.
Accountability starts every morning. It stares back at us as we brush our teeth, and fix our hair. If we can’t hold that person accountable, then how on earth can we hold others?