Our pride.

Our egos.

Our shyness.

Our awkwardness.

Our bad habits.

Our immaturity.

Our inability to forgive.

Our need to gossip.

Our hate.

I could literally go on for pages without having to take extra time to think.

And… What about your kids?

What about their tantrums?

What about their short attention spans?

What about their inconsistencies?

What about their tempers?

What about their lack of manners?

What about their disrespect?

What about their sadness?

What about their depression?

What about their bad grades?

What about their shyness?

And what about you?

What about your life? What about all the things you are dissatisfied with, saddened by, and hate in your life? What about the way you look? The way you dress? The way you feel? What about your lack of ambition or your inability to stop working?

Is any of it your fault? Is any of anything above your fault? Your spouse was unfaithful. Was any of that your fault? Your friend said something snide behind your back. Was any of that your fault?

Do you not understand that your @&*% just might be the product of you? And, even more importantly, don’t you understand that more of the same @&*% will continue to happen in your life until you do something that nobody wants to do?

Admit that you might have a part in the problem. Admit that your @&*% just might be the product of you.

Why is that so difficult? For me, it’s almost impossible. It wasn’t my fault that I’ve ended up divorced twice. This wife did this. That wife did that. It isn’t my fault that I haven’t made as much money as I had planned. This roadblock shouldn’t have been there. That opportunity should have lined up. It isn’t my fault that publishers turned down my book. They are too afraid to take risks. They are too difficult to work with.

A few weeks ago, I became interested in a girl. She was very pretty and a lot of fun. I asked her on a date and she turned me down. But it wasn’t me. She was too attached to some past guy. She was still dealing with a broken heart. She this. She that.

Well, truth was, she just didn’t like me.

What if instead of saying she was to blame, I said that I was too forward, I was too assumptive, or I was too needy.

What if a father were to say, “I have been much too degrading and hurtful to my child for far too long,” instead of “my son is so tuned out and upset all the time; ugh… teenagers.”

What if a mother were to say, “I haven’t spent as much quality time with my child as I should have,” instead of “well, Ritalin isn’t working. Maybe we should try some other drug.”

What if a husband were to say, “the truth is, I push her buttons all the time, and I don’t help out the way I should,” instead of “I need this boys night out. She has been such a nag lately.”

What if a wife were to say, “I have been such a nag lately,” instead of “he’s always pushing my buttons and he never helps out around here.”

What if the parent of a bully said, “my son might be part of the problem. I’m going to figure out why, and I’ll do whatever it takes to fix it,” instead of “my son is not part of the problem. It is just kids being kids.”

What if my neighbors said, “it is my responsibility to keep my dog contained and on my property,” instead of “my dog is harmless, and he’s not hurting anyone. People need to pull the stick out of their rear ends.”

What if…  [sigh]

I’ll tell you this much. There would be a lot of kids who’d be a lot more well behaved, and a lot happier in life. There would be better marriages going on. There would be a big reduction in the bullying problem. There’d be a lot less poop on my lawn.

I would have a better shot with the next gal I take a liking to.

I’d have a better shot at a lot of things.

But I don’t have that better shot, because I can’t admit my part of the problem, and the vast majority of the time nobody else can either.

And so… society gets worse. Our schools get worse. Parents get worse. Relationships get weaker. We all end up squashed into some overpacked proverbial washing machine that isn’t actually getting any of us clean. At all. When the clothes are finally pulled out, everybody wonders why the dirt is still there.

How do we not see? Our @&*% often is the product of us, at least partially. And until we all start admitting it, we aren’t going to see anything get better.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. We all have denied being part of certain problems when in fact, we are. Who has the guts to admit to something right now that you’ve never even admitted to yourself, let alone others? And… what’s your next move?

Also, I think it goes without saying that outside factors and forces can affect a lot of things. I am not saying that every bad thing that has ever happened to anybody is their own fault. But come on… can’t we all own up to some things?