I was invited by Susie Kline of Motherhoot to join a group of bloggers lovingly called “Blog Gang”. Periodically, we are each going to write one post on the same topic and then link the posts. This month’s theme is “Personal Responsibility“. What exactly is personal responsibility? It depends on your character; the way you act when no one is looking. I believe personal responsibility is taking responsibility for your actions. Shocking! Here is a recent example from mlife. As you read; think about what you would have done and how you would have reacted?
My children had dental appointments for a cleaning and while its only about 20 miles away, it takes almost 45 minutes to go from home to Dentist and several different highways. One of these highways, Hwy 16, is partially under construction. So, there are cars going 60-65 mph, concrete barriers on two sides, narrow two-lane highway, and merging traffic from TWO directions. We successfully merged and was driving down the road. I see this gold colored 4-door car come up in the left lane and turn on its blinker to get behind me (or so I thought). I continued to monitor the situation in my mirrors as I had no shoulder to go to and couldn’t merge into the left lane because of traffic. As I monitored this car, drove, and attempted to speed up a little bit to try to them give them more. They became to merge. The nose of their car was EVEN with the backdoor of my mid-size SUV – directly beside my youngest son. I couldn’t speed up, slow down, go to the shoulder, or even change lanes. I quickly asked the kids of they were both buckled in and told them to tighten their seat beats. Then, I put both hands on the wheel. The gold car merged and I scooted over as close to the barricade as I could.
The car continued to merge as I inched closer to the car in front of them. Then, all of a sudden the backend of my SUV gets knocked wonky. They actually merged into the side of my car. I couldn’t stop, couldn’t get off the road. So, I slowed down to see if the car was going to drive funny. Then, I put on my blinker to get off at the next exit. The car behind me put their blinker on. Great they were going to take responsibility and we could stop where it was safe to determine how much damage had been done to a car I have only had since May 2010. At the end of the exit there is a stop light. We were both in the right hand lane. I made the light and the car behind me go stopped at it. So, I pulled into the parking lot and watched them, waiting for them to make the right hand turn. Light turns green, they go left from the right hand lane. Yeah, no so safe. Luckily, I had a partial tag number. So, I call the highway patrol. I am told that because we both left the scene of the accident there is nothing they can do. WTF? You really wanted me to stop in the middle of a major highway with no shoulder for what amounts to a fender bender? The response was yes. It was not a safe place for me or my children or any other drivers on the road; if we had stopped the instant I was hit.
Luckily, the only damage was to my ground effects and they are molded plastic so, fairly easy to replace and fix. Thankfully, my children were not hurt, we didn’t spin out of control, and my axle isn’t bend. We made the dentist appointment, but we were about 15 minutes late. I had called the dentist to let them know what had happened and that we would be late. See, I took personal responsiblity for my actions and for my word. I promised I would be at the dentist at a pre-determined time and as soon as I realized I would be late; I called them to let them know.
The gold car that merged into me; they didn’t take personal responsibility for their actions and well, Karma, she’s a bitch. I fully believe that if we all take personal responsibility for our actions even when we screw up, everything will work out in the end. An I’m sorry goes a long way to correcting a situation and hopefully there is no one among us who thinks they are infallible. I try to measure my personal responsibility by one simple question: If the roles were reversed what would I do? Might sound familiar, its the golden rule.