When my daughter was about three years old, she pooped in the bathtub. You read that right, she left a turd in the tub. I seized the opportunity to make the moment a teachable one. She knew better but had done it anyway. On discovering the gift as the water drained, I asked her why she did it. Not surprisingly, she didn’t have an answer, more of a shrug of her shoulders. There was no dispute that the task at hand was gross. To her shock, I handed her a paper towel and told her to clean it up, doubly gross. My little girl didn’t understand why she had to do the dirty deed of cleaning up her dirty deed. In her young mind, the responsibility was all mine. “You da mom,” was her sassy defense. That quick-witted kid had a point, but I wasn’t about to start cleaning up her poor decisions just because I was her mom.
I believe that you make a mess; you clean it up. We should all be held responsible for our actions. If a three-year-old can learn the lesson, anyone can. Taking responsibility for our actions individually is caring for one another collectively. The most sensible way to right our wrongs is to own them. Holding ourselves accountable isn’t always easy; sometimes, we need the nudge of someone else to point us in the right direction. Acknowledging your role is crucial. Asking for and accepting help to rectify a situation is perfectly acceptable. We don’t always know why we make the choices we do, and that’s okay. The key is owning up to our mistakes. Righting our wrongs is a humbling step to being the best version of yourself. Expecting someone else to clean up your “turd in the tub” isn’t a solution.