Friday, December 20, 2013

How to Keep Me Accountable

Years ago, I had a Christian friend who admitted that he was having a problem with using profanity.  Though I never heard him use it myself, I would suspect that him having Tourette's probably only made the issue worse; however, he did admit that having a group of friends at his college who kept each other accountable was a major help in keeping his language in check.  I may not have the same living situation, but I can still hope my friends can keep me accountable; if I say I will do something, but don't do it, they should be the ones letting me know.

Still, there is just one question: How? A friend recently commented, "I'm happy to hold you accountable. What would you like me to do?" Probably others have been asking the same question, which is likely why I have only been notified that I was doing something I had previously said I wouldn't do a scant few times.  So, I'm here to tell you what I would like you all to do in that regard.

First off: Remember what I said I was going to do...and hold me to it.  I don't expect you to remember every word I put on this blog--honestly, there are some online statements I've made I don't even want to recall myself!--but I do hope that you will remember the main points, and, if you think I've said or done something in violation of a previous statement, say something! That doesn't mean you have to call me out publicly; frankly, unless I flagrantly make a mockery of someone I personally know, making a public statement--online or elsewhere--that chews me out is simply an overreaction.  I should know; I've had it happen before, and it seriously hurt.  Telling me privately would be the best way.  Even if you think I've violated my own statements when I haven't, I'll investigate it and kindly reply.  That also means you will have to pay attention to what I post online...but you already do that, or you wouldn't be reading this!

Second off: When we talk, if I tell you I'm planning on doing something--or have done something--that isn't in keeping with my word...let me know.  Many of you know of a certain former female friend who I was obsessed with for quite a while.  What you may not know is: Prior to that, I had heard of other individuals whose obsessions with real-life acquaintances led to them facing charges...and I said, "I would never do that!" It wasn't until my case of it had blown over that I realized I had done something I'd said I would never do.  Then again, that wasn't the only time; it's happened before...and it's happened since.  I'll be honest: One of my problems is that I tend to say whatever it takes to get what I want...without actually intending to follow through on my word.  Back in 1999, one of my neighborhood friends got in a Super Smash Bros. duel with his brother to determine who the true champion of their household was.  To encourage him to win, I told him that, if he won, he could go online and print any Pokémon he wanted from my computer.  He did win...but I was still shocked when he actually held me to what I said.  Years later, I had to promise that I wouldn't complain if and when my parents decided to get a dog in order to go to an American Idol concert.  I agreed to all that...but, when I heard we actually would be getting one soon, I became so mad that me and my father got into an argument in public, and, when I vented to a friend about my situation, she reportedly told my mother, "[Siobhan] is very angry!"  In both cases, I was just speaking words to get what I wanted; I had no plans to actually do as I said.  I'm tired of that; I don't want to be a manipulator or a deceiver.  If a man is only as good as his word...then, my word needs to be great!

My final point before my conclusion: Don't make excuses for me not doing as I say. When I was in school, I had teachers at times who would give me high grades on projects that were paltry compared to the ones my classmates did.  It was especially that way in my high school Spanish class; I often turned in projects that I hastily slapped together in Print Shop or AppleWorks...and got close to the same grades as other kids who worked much harder on theirs! Yes, I may have had a "condition," but the only reason I did such rush jobs was because I "needed" my TV and Nintendo GameCube time, not because I couldn't work any harder! The same is true of me doing as I say: Unless there's some sort of extraneous circumstance--and I'm not the one who should be the judge of that--I should keep my word, regardless of what anyone else does or says.  It's true that it might take me a while to make a new habit, which is why a gentle reminder that I'm not doing as I said would be a big help.

Now, for my conclusion: One thing I absolutely don't want anyone to do is to do everything for me.  Of course, when learning a new skill--driving, graphic design, performing, etc.--one does need to heed the words of those who are more experienced within whatever area(s); still, if all I do is sit and watch someone else do something, I haven't really learned anything.  I know that most of you reading this are much well-versed in everything--well, okay, everything but kiddie entertainment!--than I am.  I want you to guide me, and I'm willing to accept assistance...but, if you do too much, what have I learned? It's as Confucius once said: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

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