Monday, May 07, 2012

Why Won’t My Skeletons Disappear?

Ever made a wrong decision, a bad investment, or simply made a mistake?  Join the club of humanity.  We are ripe with failures.  There’s no one on this earth who has not messed up at one time or another.  That puts us all on the same playing field.  What makes us different, and what proves the caliber of player we are (not who we think and say we are), is how we handle those mistakes. 

I’ve watched time and time again a player boast of their abilities, their talents and their skills right up until the moment the game starts.  That’s when the truth of their abilities (or lack thereof) became apparent and the truth was revealed.  Granted, sometimes a player had a good day and sometimes a bad.  However, if you watched enough games and the player long enough, you’d see their true potential, their true talents and their true skills.  The truth lay in the evidence of the results. 

I’ve also seen players who have been endowed with great natural talent, but lacked wisdom and knowledge on how, when and where to execute the right use.  In fact, their ego and lack of understanding of the rules were often their downfall; the time-bomb that killed their best efforts with a foul or a play at the wrong time.
What I’m trying to get at is this:  We are fallible, and sometimes do stupid stuff – thereby stuffing skeletons in our closets.  We ALL have them.  But, I’m observing a trend in our society that really frightens me.  Time and time again I see people avoid their skeletons, instead of facing them.  They wait to be bailed-out, to be rescued, to be forgiven for their mistakes, but take no responsibility to remove the skeletons from their own closets.  They just keep shoving them in, cramming them together, and expecting someone else to clean them out, some even going as far to proclaim they are entitled to a clean closet.
The bankruptcy rate in this country (the world in fact) is at the highest level ever recorded.  In the writing world – many writers are too eager to get in print – which they forgo the time, and effort to really study their craft, in their impatience self-publish and put out a bad manuscript. Then, they expect their readers to forgive, to support and to bail them out of their bad decisions by continuing to buy their books.  Yet, they don’t take the time to go back and clean up their mess and remove the skeletons they’ve created.  Or, they publish a decent book, but make the mistake of not properly marketing and networking to get the word out, yet expect someone else to come along and do it for them.  That’s like people who run up bad credit card debts in their ignorance, which they can’t pay, and yet expect the debts to just disappear, or for someone else to absorb the debt because forgiveness has been asked - then are shocked back into reality when they start to get their lives back on track to find out the ‘mess’ they created is still there for them to clean up.  What’s most surprising is the bad debtor gets angry that the skeleton is still in their closet.  They’re confused and don’t understand why it’s there.

Where did this mindset come from?  Where did personal responsibility go?  What happened to the concept of making amends or reparations?  Does the world even know what those words mean anymore?  I’m sorry doesn’t mean – “I feel bad because I messed up or I got caught”.  We are all sorry.  It means – “I acknowledge my mistake and I will do whatever I can to make amends, and change my habits so I don’t make it again.”  It’s insanity to keep doing the same thing, yet expect a different result. It’s just as insane to keep trying to help people with that mindset.  It’s naive of us to sit on our butts and wonder, “Why won’t my skeletons disappear?”
It’s time to get off our butts and start cleaning out our closets.  We ALL have skeletons, we ALL make mistakes, and we ALL are responsible for our own skeletons.  Learn to apologize, but most of all, learn to quit making the same mistakes. The only real entitlement we have is to our guilt and repentance

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