EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

Why’d you kick me?

A wise man once said “Don’t rub the lamp if you don’t want the genie to come out” and, although overly simplified, the wisdom in that statement is undeniable.  I’ve long held the opinion that just as no one should be able to make you do something against your will, no one should be held accountable for the choices you make.  For instance, just a short while ago a friend told me how pissed off she was at a particular towing company in the city; when I asked why she said her car had been towed and subsequently broken into and she lost thousands of dollars worth of goods.  I then asked why was the car towed and she said she had hundreds of dollars in unpaid parking tickets.  My response: “Well, I guess paying those tickets would’ve been cheaper huh?”  As I understand it, that response qualifies me as being a dick. 

That response?  That response?!  Asshole.

Accountability, or at least the lack thereof, is something I’ve always found puzzling; this is likely because I learned it at an early age.  I try to pick up life lessons from all around me as I meander along and this whole accountability thing was expressed to me decades ago at that very same Tae Kwon Do school where I learned that I was gifted with the ability to absorb a pretty impressive beating.  One day while sparring in class, a guy got kicked in the nuts and he was pissed!  My instructor stopped us all to give the guy a minute to regroup.  Upon seeing that the kid who got kicked was eager to fight again, Alonzo instead wanted to talk to us all and make sure we understood what had just happened:

“You have no reason to be upset with that man.  It’s not his fault that he kicked you in the balls.
It’s not his fault.
It’s not his fault he kicked me in the nuts?
No it’s not.  It’s your fault.
But how is that possible, sir??  I didn’t kick myself.
You didn’t kick yourself, but you did make a mistake.  Then, you allowed your opponent to exploit the mistake you made.
  …puzzled look…
Look.  If you’re a man and he’s a man then anything he can do to you, you can do right back to him.  But also, there is nothing he can do to you that you can’t take action to prevent.  You are just as capable as him or any other guy in this room and none of us can take advantage of you unless you allow us to do so.  Now tell me – why did he kick you in the groin?
So it's my fault because I didn’t block?
Right.  And if I tried to kick you in the groin right now what would you do about it?
I’d block it.
Good!  Everyone line up!  Face your partners and bow out…"

Just that quickly, that young boy and the rest of us that were paying attention in class, all got a brief glimpse of what accountability is all about.  Going back to the example earlier where my friend’s car got towed, that really is a sticky one because, unlike my classmate, she had no opponent.  The argument could even be made that the outcome was far less foreseeable than a foot to the jewels but, her devout refusal to feed the meter for months ultimately had consequences that she did not care to face.

If you listen closely you can hear Sir Issac Newton somewhere far off in the distance shouting 'checkmate in three'; it ain’t just physics, baybee.


April 24, 2006 Posted by | Random Ramblings | 2 Comments