Consequences and Responsibility

There are times in our life when we stick our foot in our mouth.

We say the wrong thing at the wrong time, to the wrong person. Or worse, say the thing that’s on our mind out loud.

There are also times when our part of our personality gets in the way or politeness and logic. I’m talking about attitude, quick wit, sarcasm, whatever you want to call it, cause you probably know what I’m talking about.

In cases like that, we have two choices.

One: Apologize.

Two: Live with it.

This is where the true test of character comes in. Most people might live with it, even if they know, deep down, it was the wrong thing to say. They may have said it as a flip response to something else, or as a jab at someone in particular. Either way, they are either to immature or scared to apologize and it just sits there. Sometimes, it just gets ignored. But sometimes, it can blow up and affect a lot of people.

It’s only a person of character that can reflect on their words and see that maybe, even if they don’t disagree with what they said, maybe the timing or the place was wrong. Maybe being bold and showing some attitude in front of others might be the wrong way to deal with whatever the real problem is.

This goes double for kids or teenagers.  Sure they are young and may not see the problem their words could raise. But that might stem to how they were brought up, or the people they socialize with. If it’s a one-off thing, that might be excused. But when it becomes regular, that shows there’s a problem somewhere. Lack of rules or discipline or respect seems to be the cause, from what I’ve seen. A lot of kids act like smart-asses. But if no one tells them that they are acting like smart-asses and being disrespectful around others, how are they going to learn to function in the real world, when they get older? Cause I can tell you right now, having any kind of attitude running loose will surely get you fired and only attract the kind of friends you’re better off without.

As adults, we are supposed to be more responsible and teach kids how to live a good life and deal with others in a proper, civil manner. But sadly, many adults are just as bad as the kids.

No one is above getting frustrated and angry at immature people or kids. It happens to the best of us. But when we let ourselves get pulled down into that level of stupidity and manipulation that immaturity can create on a regular basis, we only have ourselves to blame.

This is especially true when dealing with kids who are chock fulla attitude. Kids like that only see the quick-fix in their words or actions. They don’t realize that repeatedly doing such things only makes them look worse.

For the adults dealing with such a kid, lashing out, reacting to their crap, is letting the kid see they have the upper hand. They have won and gotten what they wanted, even if the reaction isn’t something they want. When the reaction isn’t what they want, they don’t know why things have turned so bad. Tears are shed, words are said, voices are raised, and everyone around them sees things getting way out of control for something way too minor.

Should the kid get off scott-free?

Definitely not.

Should they be dealt with loudly and in front of a live audience?

Definitely not.

Kids have to learn respect and responsibility for their action and words. But if those who are supposed to impart these teaching are just as immature, self-centered, or lack any true discipline, then it re-enforces the kid’s actions. It’s the old “if they act that way, then why can’t I?”

As an Uncle, I have tried to lead by example. I find that’s a better way to be than “do as I say, not as I do.” Cause to me, that’s bullshit. I am by no means perfect. Like any adult, I get angry, frustrated, pissed off, dislike what some kids say or how they act. Like any adult who had kids in their life, I see my faults, and get angry with myself for letting those faults show.

All I can hope to do, as I’m sure any adult with his or her salt, is to do better for those around me than was done to me.

For those who are still too self-centered, immature, or feel blameless for the actions that disrupt others, think about what you do. Your actions, how you deal with others, has consequences. It’s your responsibility to ensure those young, impressionable eyes see only your good qualities, as often as you can.

If not, then they’ll become teens without any respect, or discipline, and have attitude to spare.


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