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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…

Am I to Blame for Any of This at All?

It has been said that our children are a mirror image of ourselves… and – like it or not – there is much truth in this. That’s the BAD news. The GOOD news is that we do have control over our children’s destinies, to some point, by the way that we act as adults. (It all goes back to the “Children Learn What They Live” statement.)

I was invited to be a Dutch-treat guest at an important gathering of a group of adult folks last week. This reunion, of sorts, was begun last year when a couple of folks decided that this would be a great idea… and, actually took the initiative to follow through with that idea. And, while this undertaking took MUCH effort and a LITTLE bit of expense, folks were invited to join in for simply picking up the tab for their own meal. The entire event was planned electronically, thanks to our ever-expanding world of technology. You made your reservation on line… and, by doing so, you basically agreed that you would cover the cost of your meal on the night of the event.

Imagine the surprise of the event planners when 98 folks responded that they would be in attendance.  Some were traveling for many hours just for the opportunity to re-unite with former work family friends. Imagine the shock of the event planners when 20 folks – YES, you read that correctly – decided, for whatever reason, not to attend. This is just over 20% of those who signed up to attend! Now, folks, I get the occasional last-minute, unavoidable reason that one’s plans might change. A simple phone call (or, an e-mail, or text message… there are so many ways to communicate today) and the offer to cover the cost of their own meal, which had already been prepared for them, would seemingly be the proper thing to do. RIGHT?  Well, apparently, WRONG! Because those who made their reservations and actually followed through with them and cared about the event planners and did not want them to be stuck “holding the bag,”  a basket was passed in hopes that some folks would open up their hearts – and their purses – and help to atone for the lack of responsibility on behalf of those who did not attend… nor, did they bother to notify anyone. And, remember: THESE WERE ADULTS!

Is it any wonder then, that our children can become so apathetic over the needs of others and actually following through with their commitments? This is NOT good! It leads to the idea that what I WANT to do is more important than what I told you I WOULD DO. And, it leads to folks not thinking that they should be held accountable for their actions. I know this may sound petty cliche, but please remember: Our children learn what they live! When you look into the mirror, what kind of example are YOU setting for your child(ren)?