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The Lost Art of Taking Responsibility For Our Actions

Updated on February 21, 2013

THREE SIMPLE WORDS

I was wrong. Three simple words; three simple syllables, and yet they are so hard for many to say. I was wrong. Total elapsed time when saying those three words….at the most two seconds. Why is this such a difficult thing to say?

I was reminded of this a couple weeks ago while watching a clip of Lance Armstrong on Oprah. I was fascinated watching this once popular sporting icon skate around the issue of personal responsibility. Yes, he admitted to taking steroids to improve his physical performance, but he choked on the words “I was wrong,” instead saying that everyone does it and he was just part of the crowd.

And of course I was reminded of Barry Bonds, President Clinton, and the other political, sports, and entertainment celebrities who have been caught red-handed in their indiscretions and yet seem to be incapable of saying those three simple words….I was wrong.

We shake our heads, and we discuss them over the water cooler at work, and they become our favorite topic until a new one comes along, and we find a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that the mighty can fall, and thank God we aren’t like that.

Oh really? We aren’t like that?

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong | Source
This boy could lie with the best of them to get out of trouble
This boy could lie with the best of them to get out of trouble | Source

THINK BACK TO CHILDHOOD

How many of us, as children, lied to escape punishment? I am willing to bet most of us can say yes, most definitely, I lied so mom and dad would not be unhappy with me.

If you want to watch this type of responsibility-ducking, become a teacher. I don’t have the time to list the ingenious lies that were told to me during my eighteen years in a classroom. Some students, even when faced with irrefutable proof of their guilt, would lie to avoid saying those three little words….I was wrong.

If you are a parent I know you have seen it. Your little darling, angel-faced daughter or son, the apple of your eye and the future of your family name, can spin a tall tale that would make any Irishman blush, all to avoid the consequences of their actions.

But we all grow out of that, right?

I don’t believe so.

Is it really that hard?
Is it really that hard? | Source
Much better
Much better | Source

ADULTHOOD AND THE SHIFTING OF BLAME

Forget about the Sammy Sosa’s of the world for a moment and try to think of someone you know, and adult, who does not take responsibility and blame when they are wrong. Can you think of any?

My favorites, and I have known quite a few over the years, are the ones who, when confronted with evidence that they are guilty, will say, “well yes, I did that, but……” and then start making excuses for their behavior. Well yes, I did that, but it was my understanding from your memo that it was okay to take the petty cash if there was an emergency. Yes, I did that, and I’m sorry, but your instructions weren’t very clear. Yes, I did that, but if John hadn’t encouraged me to do it I never would have done it. Yes, I did it, but…….

Is there that much shame in admitting we are wrong that some people simply cannot say the words? Is it that big a blow to their ego that maybe they convince themselves they are incapable of being wrong?

I am reminded of a phrase we used to say when I was younger. We referred to some people as having “Little Man’s Syndrome.” Not the most politically correct phrase in today’s world, but it bears mentioning for the purpose of this article. It referred to those blustery individuals who were always strutting about like a peacock on a stage, their bright colors overwhelming anyone in their vicinity. They were never wrong and they knew everything, and God bless you if you disagreed with them.

I hate to tell you, but the last person who was perfect found himself nailed to a cross, and I have no desire to experience that punishment. Hell, folks, I’ve been wrong more times than I have been right, or so it seems as I gaze over the landscape of my life. As a recovering alcoholic I stand before you and say that I have hurt others in the past and I was dead wrong in doing so. It would be so easy to blame it all on my disease. The AMA recognizes it as a disease so why not use it for my benefit. Yes, I was wrong, but…..

But nothing! Not once when I was drinking did someone pour a drink down my throat. Not once was I forced to do wrong to others, and not once was I forced to cause emotional harm to others. That was my doing and I was wrong, and all the excuses in the world will not change that fact.

Accept the fact that none of us are perfect

SO YOU SEE

Yes, Lance Armstrong was wrong. Yes, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds were wrong. They will eventually be punished, either by the courts of law or the courts of public opinion, and then we will move on as a society until the next celebrity disappoints us.

Still, I can’t help but think of the old saying that if you live in a glass house then you might want to think twice before you start tossing stones around. We have all been wrong, and we will all be wrong again, and we might want to remember that the next time we point the finger of blame at others, and act so shocked when one of our heroes is less than the god we made them out to be.

They are easy targets, the politicians and entertainers, and perhaps their fall from grace bothers us more because for whatever reason we held them to higher standards than we hold ourselves, and really, how wrong is that?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Express and I agree with that point. It's one thing to deny taking steroids; it is another thing to destroy lives to protect your lie. I cannot find any way to forgive that kind of lack of conscience.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      I am by no means perfect but to be honest there have been plenty of times in my life that I took responsibility for things or apologized for things I played little no absolutely no role in just to keep the peace. I don't know how Lance Armstrong sleeps at night knowing he ruined the lives of many people who tried to bring the truth to light.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On...I'm laughing because of the fact that the guy could care less. Isn't that often the truth. What we consider a big deal is barely noticed by others, but I know you made an impression on him by admitting the truth...that will pay dividends in time.

      Thanks for sharing that my friend.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      God was testing me once again.After reading your hub I went off to work and wouldn't you know I told someone knew something wrong and I had to correct it immediately.It was a tough situation and for a quick second I thought I can deny ever saying that.Then I realized how foolish I was even thinking that.I went back changed my mistake and no harm done now I had to tell someone knew that I was wrong.So I swallowed my pride and said you were better off without my help.He could care less and all was forgotten.That was easy and now we both know the right way from learning the wrong way from me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, not a day goes by that I don't wonder how in the world Bev puts up with my nonsense. :) I understand completely.

      Thank you as always.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I know well how "less than perfect" I am. I just appreciate my hubby putting up with me all these years. At times I am embarassed at how I acted in the past, but we learn from our mistakes and mature in our actions and responsbility (most of us anyways!).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream On, you described taking the blame as being the easy way and it really is. Isn't it amazing more people don't realize that. It takes so little effort to just say I screwed up. Most people admire that, and the whole matter is over quickly once the blame has been taken. My God, this isn't rocket science. LOL

      Thank you my friend! I do appreciate your kind words.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      It is so refreshing to hear the way you say we don't take responsibility for our actions all the time.So true I can remember many times but what I remember most is the outcome.It was only postponed and it happened any way.I had no control and the aggrivation and work that it took was so much harder.So I have learned to take the easy way and say as fast as I can I messed up.I can't believe I did it.Imagine what I was thinking.Each way I can accept the blame but I make it less dramatic and kind of comical.My recent example someone thought they knew someone and I swore up and down it couldn't be that person.Then realizing it was the same person.I had to come clean.I said you were right all along and I don't know what I was thinking.As soon as I seen that person again.It might seem like a little thing but little things lead to big things.I nip it in the bud like my father use to say.Now I can laugh and move on oh well.As for your explanation about how we can't control things.I found in my work I often want people to do it my way.Thiniking it was better .I had proof why it was better.They still thought their way was better. Now as long as it doesn't hurt me why do I care.I have bigger fish to fry.Have a great day and I appreciate your one on one video so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, I select my friends carefully. Like you, I do not like to be around those who never admit mistakes. Give me an imperfect person any day. At least I know then that they are being real.

      Thank you my friend and I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, cabin fever? Is it a bit chilly for you out there? I'm laughing because as you know, cold weather for you is springtime gardening weather for us.

      Armstrong bothered me, but no more than anyone I come into contact with daily who will not accept responsibility.

      Stay warm my cold-blooded friend. :) Thank you Lizzie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, I don't know that answer to your question, but I am convinced it is getting worse in society, and not just with our "heroes." All I can do is keep being an example of honesty and show people that there is no shame in admitting when we make mistakes.

      Thank you as always my friend.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      Lance Armstrong used to be my favorite one. I used to venerate him during my teenage. I felt sad when the truth was uncovered.

      It takes lots of guts to admit to the mistake. Only a few can do it. And I can't stand next to a person who behaves like a perfectionist and gloats around with an aura of what you mentioned- little man's syndrome.

      Pointing fingers to others always boomerangs. Personally,these days, whenever I criticize anyone, I just evaluate to check whether the same criticism applies to me as well.

      The way you strike the right chords through your hubs, is simply amazing, Bill. Have a great week ahead! :-)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Lance Armstrong (et al.) didn't say he was wrong because he didn't believe he was wrong. He lives to feed his ego, and unfortunately portrayed himself as some kind of role model at the same time. I remember years ago when he stood by his children and said that he was retiring for them. There was no way he would return to the sport because they asked him not to. The fact that he went back to the sport anyway is disturbing. A man of his word, he is not. Not to his children, and certainly not to the public. A good teaching point for the kids--millions of dollars can never buy integrity. Anyway, cabin fever makes me ramble. That and your thought-provoking hubs. Have a great Monday :)

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      Thought provoking hub as always bb. It baffles me why these three words are so difficult to say. I too watched the Lance Armstrong interview and longed for him to look directly into the camera and say "I lied, I was wrong, I hurt people and I am sorry." That just didn't happen. It's a shame, it would have been a step on the road to redemption. I wanted to believe he was a good person, now i don't. As I raise my girls I have attempted to teach them that we are all guilty of making bad choices and that the first step in sorting things out is admitting guilt. It's a daily struggle. Is it human nature or learned from a society that condones this behaviour?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Margarita, it is always nice having you visit. Yes, with three children, you have heard your share of stories.

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

      Bill, oh how true, especially about children, it's something I can relate too, having three little ones who try to make up stories to cover up what they have done wrong :) Thanks friend, good hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      krsharp, I am doing well, thank you, and it's nice to see you back. I hope you are well. I'll stop by and see what you have been up to. Thank you and I agree, Armstrong was and is an ass.

    • krsharp05 profile image

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Gosh how I have missed your hubs. :)

      Poor Lance. A victim of being an incomprehensible ass. I'm not about to start tossing any pebbles because I make a ton of mistakes but I'm not a world-class athlete, I don't train my body for a living or have major sponsors and campaigns and I definitely don't have Mathew Mcconaughey on speed dial. I love your message. Simple, concise and poignant. Hope you are doing well. -K

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Insightful, at least you are aware of it, and that says quite a bit. Do you have any idea how many people go through life and don't even know who they are or what makes them tick? I was told a long time ago to fake it until I make it, and it seems like a good strategy to me. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      Yeesh you hit a nerve! I have a terrible time at saying sorry. Oh I force myself to say it when my conscience gets the better of me, but it usually feels fake and more like lip service. I'm trying to fake it until I become it, but that hasn't happened yet. I keep trying :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, the only good news is that America is running out of nuns, so their tortuous ways are coming to an end. I can say without hesitation that they are brutal bitches when I had them in school back in the 50's. :)

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      Alan R Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      They should never have let nuns anywhere near kids at that stage of their schooling. I don't know if they still do (I went to state school, CofE), but I've heard they can be right sadistic little turnips when their gander's up - changing people's characters the wrong way seems to be their stock in trade, and they'll tell you they're answerable to 'the Lord' and the bishop. Easy way out of an argument on ethics.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I'll have to look that quote up. I thought it was Harry Truman but now you have me curious. I learned to lie because of the nuns in elementary school. It was either lie or get hit....lying seemed much easier. :) Thank you my friend.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Wasn't it JFK who coined the phrase 'The buck stops here"? (Didn't he have it embossed on a brass plate and screwed/inlaid into the Prez's desk in the Oval Office).

      Here's a new one for you: 'The billybuc stops here'. Enjoyed the discourse - lots of comments (some misguided). I cut my 'lying teeth' on an interrogator I considered worthy of the Gestapo. A bit heavy-handed at times, Ma meant well but her background was worlds away from mine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you made an excellent point right at the end.....a sign of weakness. Very tough for a man to do, as men are not supposed to show weakness, or so the stereotype goes. Nonsense of course, but still very real.

      I wish you a very happy weekend my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They are tough, Rajan, but oh so important. I'm still working on it. :)

      Thank you my friend. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb! I'll be by to read about the Dillingers in the morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, I've been trying for that humility thing for years now. Getting closer but it always seems to be just out of my reach. :)

      Thank you Sir! Have a great weekend.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      such truth in your words & thought-provoking. I can think of one situation where I feel helpless & it's out of my control. I just wish I could help, but I can't because the person is so stubborn and is not willing to see options with regards to their health, but like you said, it's out of my control, but at the same time you care about what happens to them, but you can't help someone who doesn't want your help and and wants to do things their way. It's tough. similar situation you have with your best friend. As far as people not being able to say those 3 words, I think a lot of it has to do with ego and also because for many people owning up to their mistakes is a sign of weakness. voted up!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      It is and maybe will remain a part of our life but it would certainly make things better if we had the gumption to say these three words. These three words seem to be the most difficult to say, Bill.

      Voted up.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That was well said. None of us is perfect, nor will we ever be.

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      How true, Bill. It's hard enough to say "I was wrong" but it's even harder to keep from following that up with a "but". It takes humility to apologize, and being humble is a very uncomfortable position for us humans.

      "Oh lord its hard to be humble,

      When you're perfect in every way" -Mac Davis-

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jordan, I'm willing to bet we all have a story like that. For me it was my mother and I, too, will never forget the look she gave me.

      Thanks for stopping by buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poetvix, it's always a pleasure my friend. A trend that is conditioned in us? I tend to believe that to be true unfortunately. This ties in with the switch in parenting we have seen over the past fifty years....permissiveness....no accountability....my little darling can do not wrong....and on and on it goes. I have sat in on some rather incredible teacher/parent conferences while I was a teacher. Confronted with proof that a child had done wrong, the parents still denied it and blamed someone else. It's enough to pull your hair out.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

      I know the day that I stopped lying as a kid. I lied my neighbor whom I thought the world of and he knew it too, he just looked at me with a look I will never forget and walked away. I still hurt when I think about that. Thanks for the hub my friend.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      From your pen to our leader's eyes. You're right and I see it every day. If totally honest, I have to admit having done it myself. No one likes to be wrong, but it takes a lot more courage to stand up and admit to it, to learn from it than to wallow in the "but." I suspect this trend is becoming conditioned into us, especially our youth. That doesn't bode well for the future.

      Thank you. Yet again, you have given me food for thought by calling out a behavior so prevalent I think we often take it as a matter of course.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, those are solid words to build upon. I may not repeat them daily but I am aware of them daily. I love your last line....it is terribly boring. :)

      Thank you Eric and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I am not wise enough to know why this is happening with such regularity, especially among the rich and famous, but I do know you are correct that it has been happening forever. I'll stand by anyone who is honest and admits to being human.

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      As my parents always told me, and I have found to be pretty much right all the time, the more someone denies something, the bigger the chance is that they did something they should not have. Great hub. I have a hunch all the political correctness and fear of lawsuits may have something to do with it although this has been happening since the beginning of time. I always have more respect for someone who owns their mistakes.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The world needs more examples of wrong. That people take accountability for themselves. The Catholics and Anglicans have a portion of their church litany that goes something like this: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. It comes out of 1 John.

      I have to repeat it daily. Trying to be right all the time is boring.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, the whole story incensed me and yes, the entire organization has been in on it for decades.

      I'm still working on you saying you enjoy saying you are sorry. I'll have to give that some thought as the day goes on.

      By the way, did you see that story about the pro women's tennis player who quit because of bullying? She was from Canada if I'm not mistaken. I thought of you when I read it.

      You know I love you, right? Never change how you view the world, and I'll be by your side all the way.

      love,

      bill

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Sigh...'little man syndrone' is alive and well, dear friend - as is 'little woman syndrome'...

      this is amazingly timely, Bill - as just the other day i was having a conversation with my son where i was saying how much i ENJOY saying i'm sorry..(i was wrong)..

      I realize this is a lot to ask of the general public, but - i look at apologizing as a chance to...grow AND be humbled at the same time...

      it's almost a religious experience - and - you know i ain't religious..lol..

      On the other hand - i watched that entitled, arrogant, MEAN little man's oprah interview - and - he did admit responsibility - to a degree..

      HE was the ringleader - HE forced others into it - HE got others thrown off the team if they wouldn't come into compliance with...'the program'...HE is a BULLY of the worst order - AND - having been an 'almost' high-level athlete myself - i KNEW what he did was NOT possible - even as he was doing it, but - HEY - they'd drug tested him all the time, right?

      Sigh...the entire US parent organization was in on it - moneymoneymoney...

      ps...look up the correlation between testicular cancer and performance enhancing drugs..

      Yeah...interesting, eh?

      Grrrrrr....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Torrilynn, you are right of course, and it is a shock when our heroes let us down. If only he had chosen to be honest from the very beginning and not ruin lives to hide his secret.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alise, what a fantastic comment. Lying seems to be almost socially acceptable. Now there is a scary thought. Yes, we should stop complaining as a society if we are not going to insist on honesty and character-building. Right on with this comment. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Life Iz Beautiful, you are far ahead of the crowd if you take responsibility for your actions. This blame game thing seems to be a national pastime in this country and I'm sure it is the same in yours. Thank you as always for your visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you mentioned an interesting dynamic....almost over-compensating for behavior we saw growing up. Great comment my friend and I thank you as always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, he made the blood boil of many a person. He built a campaign on his battle with cancer....became a hero to so many....and ruined the lives of people just to keep his secret. Inexcusable for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachna, thank you for that excellent example. We simply must face our mistakes and admit them, or it becomes very difficult to live with ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, true words indeed. Thank you!

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      torrilynn 4 years ago

      billybuc, as a nation, i feel that many people are shocked because there were millions of millions of people who looked up to Lance Armstrong and saw him as someone who has endured so much with having cancer and still being able to do what he loves to do. this intune, helped people to accomplish their goals and dreams and to never give up because Lance Armstrong never did.

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      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      This is a great hub. Reminds me of a "story" I read of someone named Adam who blamed his wife Eve for for "causing" him to disobey God's one command to the couple; and Eve, who in turn, blamed her disobedience on a serpent. We inherit a lot from our fathers, and lying is one of those things.

      Here's a scary passage from scripture: "He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son. But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other thn God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)- [all these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death." (Amplified Bible) Nobody ever really considers the part about the liars- this would refer to habitual liars who are not trying to change their behavior with God's help.

      Either we believe that all this is real and we take serious thought to good "old-fashioned" character-building, or we stop complaining about society because it doesn't really matter in the end what anyone does. I choose to believe, look at my own behavior, and take responsibility.

      Voted up and shared.

    • Life Iz Beautiful profile image

      Salini 4 years ago from India

      I for one make sure that I accept my mistakes and take responsibilities of my actions This might be due to the constant blame gaming that I have seen while growing up. I have always loved your hubs billy... it is always very thought provoking...:)

      Thanks for sharing...

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This taking responsibility for actions is huge. And it is not an easy thing to do. For me..I had a mother who never took responsibility for anything and every problem was somebody elses fault..always a reason for unhappiness and failure. So I went opposite and sometimes take too much responsibility for my actions..and maybe too much blame. I can look at stupid things I did and say and claim responsibility..It is very freeing. Great topic and you really hit it. Voting up and sharing around.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, great hub. Thanks for using Armstrong to tell your story - I am so tired of people saying he is still a hero and he is still honourable adn what he did was understandable etc etc. And Oprah should be ashamed, she let him off the hook. Sorry folks, he is not any of the adjectives attached to him, he is a cheat! And at the very least he should have said sorry and admitted he was wrong - full stop (period!). What he did was inexcusable especially given the way he has built a personality based on his 'heroic' life. It makes my blood boil!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. As leaders,we know that the gauge of right and wrong is not always straight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, that would certainly get results. LOL I'm sure that kind of retribution isn't considered politically correct nowadays but boy oh boy did it ever get results. :) Thanks for the visit.

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      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      I don't know if that is sad or not, Bill. I was told three decades ago that trust should be earned not granted. I think that has served me well.

      If one of us kids did something wrong and no one would admit it, my step-father would spank every one of us. That put a lot of pressure on my siblings since I was never in the wrong. haha

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, it's just a mess is what it is. Who do you trust? For me it's a small handful of people and no more. After that handful the others have to prove it to me and earn it. I've been burned far too many times to be trusting of what I am told or what I am promised. Sad that it has gotten to this point. I hope to live long enough to see it change.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, there you go...humans make mistakes. If I had a dollar for every one I made I wouldn't be writing for HubPages. LOL On second thought, sure I would. :)

      Thanks my friend; enjoy your evening.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Good one kindred! Easy words to say, aren't they. I'm sorry. But we have to ask if there is any sincerity attached. I reflect back to my parents who were always less punitive if I owned my mistakes and was sincere. Somehow, they could tell. lol

      I don't know when the shift occured in our world where we began placing so much value on perfection rather than simply being human. Humans make mistakes. Duh!

      I love this one! Hugs to you my friend.

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      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, I think there seems to be a general feeling of distrust in society these days, and in order to apologise, maybe one has to have a feeling of trust in others. People learn to feel and say sorry as children. If they are afraid of the consequences they lie instead. Politicians and other high profile (a situation chosen by them) people are afraid of consequences, usually life-changing consequences. When they can't admit to their bad behaviour it makes all of us feel distrust. My parents used to tell us that honesty is the best policy. But now we see that no longer applies! It must be challenging for parents to instill the values of the past into the children of today, when children observe the rich and famous discarding them.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, first of all, I am sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a pet, ones that has been with you so long. I still remember the day I had to take my dog, which I got as a puppy when I was five and had for eighteen years, to the vet to be put to sleep. It truly was like losing a member of the family. That dog encompassed my entire childhood and was with me faithfully every single day.

      As for admitting wrongs, you may have hit on an interesting situation here now that the economy is so bad. I don't think we see nearly the amount of loyalty between employer and employee that we did forty years ago. Back then a worker was a part of an extended family. Not so today, no matter what field we discuss. I think many may avoid admitting errors simply to keep their jobs.

      Anyway, that is only one explanation for what seems to be an epidemic in today's world. I do hope it changes for the better, just as I hope many thing change for the better soon.

      Blessings to you dear lady,

      bill

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      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      I think of this topic often: Why is it so difficult for people these days to admit they are wrong? And further, to apologize? Is this behavior something that has materialized of late? I think perhaps so, William. I have found that in the professional realm if one admits that one has made a mistake, one can be "rewarded" by a slap on the wrist, by being placed on probation, or even fired. I fear that the days of taking responsibility for ones actions may be on a hiatus for quite some time. However, the more people who speak up like you, the more chance we have of changing that dismal paradigm. As usual, you have resonated with the times and the thoughts of modern folk.

      My apologies for not being about. I have really missed the hub community and you! My precious kitty, Clara, of 12 years passed away from cancer a week ago, and I have holed up at home to grieve my loss. However, I mustn't let go of life, though I miss her so. It is amazing how much a fur baby can bless ones life.

      Thank you once again for a thoughtful examination of a bugaboo that haunts modern society these days. And yes, I am wrong so very much and so often, but that makes me a member of the human race. As long as I admit that I am wrong, learn from my mistakes, and evolve from what I have learned from my boo-boo, then I can breathe freely again. All of those folk out there who do not admit the error of their ways, in my opinion, become emotionally constipated. Not a comfortable place to be!

      Blessings, dear friend,

      Reba

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hell yes, Sha! I've done the same thing in the workplace and it just makes good sense. On the other hand, I can't count the number of people I have worked with who would make excuse after excuse trying to get out of the blame. Lose credibility? I wanted to kill them. LOL

      Thanks buddy; I hope you are doing well.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, my dad told me that...he put his pants on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. It's a good thing to remember as we go through life. Nobody is perfect and to assume our heroes are is a fool's task.

      Thank you as always! You are a doll in the nicest sense of the word.

      love and blessings, today and always

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, when I worked in the corporate world and discovered I made a mistake (in the world of accounting, that can be monumental!), I would first go to my direct supervisor, then the officers of the company and tell them I f---ed up. I figured it was best they found out from me then from someone else or by accident. They always made me feel good by saying, "You f---ed up? I don't believe it. You don't make mistakes, Shauna!" Ha ha. Of course I do. I'm human!

      The point is, you have to fess up. If you don't, it makes matters worse and you lose credibility. Taking responsibility in life is what it's all about whether it is corporate or personal. It's called being accountable.

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Really great one here, Bill, once again!

      Yes, why do we place people (just another human like ourselves) up high on a pedastal? When we do such, then that person whom we've placed so very high up, must have no choice but to experience that great big fall. I know when I put my pants on, I do it one leg at a time, just like everybody else.

      Not one is perfect on this planet. I love your example of our little angel-faced child (lol), surely would never lie to us . . . ha ha ha!!! Oh me, now that is a good one there. They sure will in a heartbeat and then some to get out of something or be spared from some type of possible punishment, just as we still do as adults.

      Voted up +++ and sharing (will have to come back to share, my buttons are not showing on this end)

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      David, I see the same thing daily and I'm dead tired of it. Stand up and be accountable. At least that way you earn some respect. :) Thanks buddy and I hope you are well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patriot, your point is well taken, and in my opinion it applies to everyone in this country. Looking for a free ride is every bit as wrong as lying or cheating or whatever.

      Thank you!

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      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Society is indeed changing. I know many people, unfortunately, whom rarely if ever would admit ANY wrongdoing. Hmm... was whom the right word there? If not, I would have been wrong, oh well. I think it goes even further, along the same line of thought, there seem to be countless people that can no longer make a decision without saying, "I did this because so and so said I should", just in case. Give me a break PEOPLE!

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      Wayne Joel Bushong 4 years ago from America

      billybuc, I am wondering? does this also apply to the millions who free education and tons of opportunity that are not milking the system? What about all those babies born out of wedlock? Your write is on point! If applied to all and all had to accept responsibility for their actions this country would be in a much better place!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, bless you for your compassion. I will never point fingers again; I have made enough mistakes to last a lifetime. I'll probably make more. I have no business chastising someone else for theirs. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jeannie and I echo your sigh! This is a social problem that keeps growing and I wonder when it is going to change.

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      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is a great hub. No one takes responsibility for anything anymore. I know it is tough admitting when a person is wrong, but it has to happen sometimes. Sigh. Voted up!

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      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I have always wondered why we worship singers and actors and sports players. They are people with a certain talent....but they are just people. The news seems to love it when they find an imperfection. So and so has gained wieght, so and so has gotten a divorce. We all fight our own demons, but most of us get to do it in private. Lance screwed up...big time....I have screwed up too...big time. Who hasn't? And maybe his inability to say he was wrong is just another screw up. He is on his own path and needs to learn his own lessons. The older I get the more compassion I feel for my fellow humans. This life is hard and there is no road map. Maybe if we all had more compassion it would be easier for people to admit they are wrong. Anyway Bill, another thought provoking hub. Thanks!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LauraG, what was particularly appalling about Armstrong is that he actually ruined the careers of some people who dared to speak out about his steroid use. He filed lawsuits and drove people into bankruptcy. That, my friend, is a bit too much.

      Anyway, thank you for the visit and I hope you are well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, that seems to be the way we handle problems in this country. We just try to out-shout the next guy, and amazingly nobody is wrong. I don't know how we reached this point but I would sure love to see it change.

      Thank you for the visit; you are always welcome here.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, we were raised the same. The punishment for lying was much worse than the punishment for the action I did....it took me awhile to figure that out but I eventually did. I raised my son the same way; he was a much quicker learner than his old man. LOL Thank you my friend!

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      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I learned at an early age, that if I did something wrong, my parents would disipline me and life moved on, but if I LIED to them, not only was I disiplined by them, but I truly "disappointed" them.

      I teach my kids, if you screw up.....man up and take your punishment. If I catch them LYING to me....they were just not in trouble, but I had lost my trust in them...and the punishment would seem twice as bad had they merely fessed up and admitted to a mistake.

      On an equal note, I also do not like the words "I'm sorry". Unless I know it was a heart felt expression.....so many kids screw up and say...SORRY....and expect all to be forgiven. It is an overused word, that should only be used in extreme situations, in my opinion.

      Sorry for rambling........I got on a roll there....

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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I think blaming others is something that has just become a "normal" part of our culture, sadly. I totally agree that those living in glass houses should think twice before tossing stones. I wish the news channels along with their Facebook pages would delete the comments section. I don't follow our local news channel anymore because I can't stand to read the comments. Everyone thinks they are right so the comments ALWAYS turn into a huge argument. Great hub as always!!! :)

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      LauraGSpeaks 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      I don't hold celebrities to any higher standards than my own. That being said, I think anyone who youth look up to, have a certain responsibility being in the limelight. Lance adamantly denied wrongdoing for so long. His case is particularly a slap in the face to all his supporters. Even if all the other cyclists were doing the same thing, it doesn't matter--It is wrong! I always tell my kids that I don't care what everyone else is doing, I care what THEY are doing. Billybuc, you are correct in pointing out that everyone is responsible for their actions. It is not easy to say, "I was wrong," or "I am sorry," but admitting guilt and asking forgiveness is also cleansing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do indeed, Natasha! I hope you are well; thank you for the visit.

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Owning up is hard, but so important! All too often people don't take responsibility. They start saying "Well..." or "But I just..."

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, for some reason it is harder for men to admit wrong than it is women. Must have something to do with that macho image bullshit that sets back development in so many men. The good news is that your husband will probably grow out of it in time; until that happens, though, it is definitely a pain in the butt for you. :) Thank you and hang in there.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I think you know I can relate, because I am married to a man (love him dearly), who as you know has a hard time saying he is sorry. Just like you said it is more of the variety of "I am sorry, but!" Drives me crazy and so not sure why he just can't admit when he is wrong. Please don't get me wrong, I am far from perfect, but I can say I am sorry and admit if I did wrong. Seriously, such a great post and I really can very much relate!!