First of all, let me state for the the record that I love my country and I have a lot of respect for our elected officials and am grateful for the job that they do in representing us and governing our land. There are times, however, when the whole thing seems a little campy and insincere and I don't like that part. Last night was our country's annual 'applauding politicians on display doing choreographed knee bends in unison' accompanied by a 'say a lot of stuff while saying nothing much' speech from our current Commander-in-Chief, followed by hours of mindless interpretation and scrutinizing by countless talking heads on every media outlet known to man. This event is commonly referred to as the 'State of the Union Address.' These annual spectacles are almost always the same no matter which president is at the podium. I was hoping for a little more this year, though I don't know why. I guess I felt that given our challenges at the moment...our president might step up to the plate and knock one out of the park, giving me a feeling that he finally gets it. As per usual this particular speech was full of earnest, ideological, and hopeful speechifying but was lacking the ONE thing I was hoping to hear from our president, and that is: ACCOUNTABILITY. Not. One. Word. He never said "I could have done better" or "my only regret is..." or "I'm the leader of this country and the buck stops with me." I know, I'm a dreamer, right?
What did he do? He just pretended that we are all without brains and would blissfully ignore the big white elephant (no insult to Republicans intended) in the room which is that the state of our union is shaky at best. I mean...let's just be honest. There is a lot to be accountable for. Big mistakes have been made. We all know that. Everyone here should agree at least on the issue of the Affordable Care Act. It has been a big mess and the administration royally screwed up the implementation and the facts were misrepresented (I'm being nice, here...) and a lot of people are stranded right now without insurance and have no idea what to do. (This is true...look it up). That is unacceptable. They were not ready to implement the law but they did it anyway. That was a mistake. I know that everyone messes up and that's why I wanted to hear accountability. I would have really been impressed if he had taken personal responsibility and been a real leader and simply said: "We were wrong and we intend to do better. Here's how we are going to fix it." That would have gotten my attention. His approval rating right now is around 37%. He knows that many people have lost confidence in his policies and leadership ability. He knows he has lost some credibility even among his own supporters. And yet, he never once mentioned that and glossed over it all as though everything was peachy keen and our country is not all but a hot mess. His message was clear. "Blame Congress! These guys won't let me do what I want. They're being total boneheads (this is also true, you can look that up, too) and they are in my way. I give up! I can't work with these guys anymore. I'm going to have to bypass the rule of law and do my own thing. It's not my fault." That did not resonate with me, personally. Alas, it is an election year, so honesty and accountability are not possible in Washington, DC from either party at this time. Sad but true.
Let's forget about politics for a minute. Too depressing and I'm going somewhere with this, so stay with me.
I came across an article on Facebook this morning that really blew my mind but totally illustrates the point I'm trying to make. We are seeing this kind of thing far too often.
There was this 16 year old girl, you see, who wanted to go sky diving. It is not legal for a minor to jump out of a perfectly good airplane for no particular reason other than the 'fun' of it, so the parents were required to give their consent. And they willingly did so. The dad even decided to join in the fun. He went up with her in the plane and for some reason that my parental brain cannot begin to grasp whatsoever (but who am I to judge) he jumped out FIRST. Go figure. Maybe it was so he would be there when she landed. Maybe it was to 'show her how it is done.' All I know is that there is no way in H.E. double hockey sticks that I'm gonna leave one of my kids in an airplane with a parachute strapped on his/her back to go it alone. My eyes would not be leaving my child. Maybe that's just me, but what do I know? I wouldn't take my kid skydiving, anyway and like I said...who am I to judge? Ha!
Anywho...the 16 year old girl jumped out on a static line which automatically deployed her parachute but something apparently went wrong and she plummeted 3,000 feet to the ground. I know. Yikes! Although she suffered serious injuries, she miraculously survived. Yet another example of the old saying "If it's not your time...it's not your time," I guess. But that's when I read what the father had to say and it astounded me. Check this out...here is an excerpt of his comments:
"I don't think she should have been allowed at 16 to go up there and perform that type of jump, no matter what I say or she says, she shouldn't have been allowed," Joe Wethington said at the news conference. "I find it very hard to believe that the rules and regulations in Oklahoma are that lax. I think there is a flaw there somewhere, and I don't think it's through the state of Oklahoma. I think it's the company. I'm not sure."
I'm not even making this up, y'all! You can read the whole article here... http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/16-year-old-girl-falls-3000-feet-in-skydiving-accident-survives-242570671.html
Huh? What the wha??? Somebody sounds awfully confused. There is a flaw somewhere, dude and I can see it clearly. And yeah...I smell it, too. A lawsuit. This guy is likely going to try to sue the company for allowing his daughter to skydive, even though he signed the consent form to let her. He's playing the "It's not my fault" card. Talk about a lack of accountability. This is her dad. The buck stops with him. And he jumped first. He knew what 'type of jump' she would be doing because they both trained for it beforehand. He was made aware of the dangers but signed on the dotted line anyway. Are you kidding me? That is his statement? How about..."Thank God she's alive!!! All that matters to us now is that our child is safe and we need to focus on her recovery and getting her well. We are going to quietly celebrate our miracle now." Sheesh! Sure, he's probably feeling really guilty and remorseful about the part he played in what could have been the catastrophic loss of his child. He knows it was his decision. I understand that. Still, this is exactly the kind of nonsense I'm talking about. And in my opinion, which is worth what you paid for it, it is entirely too pervasive and it needs to stop. It is sending our kids the wrong message and I'm so tired of the excuses and the blame game and the 'get my attorney on the phone' mentality.
So here's my message for the day. You can take it or leave it just like you do all of the other stuff I say on here. I'm sure you are all responsible adults and already are aware of this but it will feel better if I just get this off my chest, if you will indulge me.
Please realize that life is all about choices. As adults, we all do the best we can (I'm assuming) and we win some and we lose some. As a result of the choices we intentionally make on a daily basis, there will be consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad and we all need to take personal responsibility for the choices and decisions that we make. No matter what the outcome is. That's life. If you are at fault, own up to it. Stuff happens. Other people make mistakes that can sometimes accidentally affect our lives adversely. If you can, try to give grace to others as you would like it measured out to you. We are all here at the same time doing life together. It should be our goal to try to leave the world a little better off when we are gone. If we don't take responsibility for the stuff we do, we will not grow. We will not flourish and we will pass along the same stunted mentality on to the next generation. I'm not willing to do that so I will be paying attention to my own words and deeds to be sure I am practicing what I am (yes it totally sounds like) preaching. I am teaching this to my kids and enforcing it to the best of my ability. I hope we are all striving to do the same. We must lead by example, drop the excuses we make for ourselves and for our children and simply own our own stuff. Am I right or am I right? ;o)
I bring up this subject and say what I do out of frustration but also with love. I know that God is in control as always and that nothing that we say or do is a surprise to Him. He alone is worthy of all praise. Having said that, we are called to remind and gently nudge one another in the right direction now and then so I decided to go ahead and publish this post and pray the message goes where it may be best received.
If I have offended anyone, then that's on you. You shouldn't have kept reading until the end. It's not my fault! (Hahaha...gotcha. I'm only kidding!)
Hopefully, I haven't offended anyone but I sincerely regret it if I have. My intention is to share my thoughts with transparency and with honesty so that some day, when they're older, my kids will know what their mom was thinking about during their childhood. Hopefully it somehow blesses everyone who is along for the ride! Thank you for reading and supporting my little blog. All my love to all of you.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. ~ Proverbs 28:13
Okay...I'm done here.