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Living A Legacy - Correcting Our Mistakes

My last post…about three weeks ago or so, I mentioned the idea that one thing we need to do to Live A Legacy is to correct our mistakes.

 Do you ever wish that our lives, actions, and tongues had an “auto-correct” feature, just like our Word or our smart phone text messaging?  What a great idea!  Everything in our lives would be corrected automatically before we said something hurtful, did something stupid, or just did not fully think out beforehand!

 It just don’t work that way, Bucky.

 We all are susceptible to making mistakes, errors in judgment, and hurting the ones we love with our thoughtless remarks.  Then we have to live with the consequences.  But we can correct our mistakes.  John Wayne once said,

 “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes to us at midnight very clean.  It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.“

 The sentiment is good, but the timing is off.  I feel that TODAY is the most important thing in life.  We are not promised tomorrow.  We are not even promised ALL of today.  All we really have is right now.

 What can we do to correct our mistakes?  How do we make amends to those that we have thoughtlessly injured?  Does anyone have a tasty recipe for CROW?

 Yes, we have to admit our mistakes.  Yes, we have to eat some crow.  Yes, we have to work our way out of this mess.  We got ourselves into this mess, we have to get ourselves out.  We have to call on “Triple A” (and no, I don’t mean the auto club).  AAA stands for:

  1.  Admit our mistakes – this is both the simplest, and at the same time, the hardest thing to do.  We naturally do not want to admit that we messed up.  We try to justify our actions or words.  We make excuses…the timing was wrong, the market crashed, the cow jumped over the moon.  Excuses do not begin the healing process.
  2. Apologize to those we hurt.  Did you make your wife cry?  Did you belittle your kids in front of their friends?  Did you lose your retirement playing the stock market?  Saying, ”I’m sorry” may not carry much weight, but it is a place to start.
  3. Accept 100% responsibility for your actions.  I believe that this is where the true healing begins.  By accepting 100% responsibility, we can then accept responsibility for the correcting process.

Now, just because we Admit, Apologize, and Accept does not necessarily free us from the consequences of what we have done or said.  You may still be divorced (or at least sleep on the couch for a LOOOONG time), not have good relations with our kids, or even go to jail if the law was broken.  Just because you have been forgiven does not necessarily restore trust.  Trust is something you rent.  The rent is due every day.  The more you pay that rent on time, the larger amount of trust you have every day.

 Living A Legacy is not easy, but it is simple.  Do everything, every day to leave the world better than you found it.  Love your spouse or significant other with all of your heart, soul, and being.  Build a spirit of accomplishment in your kids…they are the future, and they are in your hands.  Keep the earth clean. 

Now before you start cursing me as a liberal tree hugging liberal, I just want you to know that I feel that we are stewards of this planet, and that we should take care of it for future generations.  How sad would it be if our great-grandchildren could not enjoy a crisp fall morning in the Rockies, or a sunset in Hawaii.  We should clean it up and keep it that way.  If you chop down a tree, plant one in its place.  If you hunt or fish, harvest only what you need, and consume what you harvest.  Use a garbage can before you toss something out of the car window.  Just use common sense, that’s all.

Living A Legacy is something we have to do every day.  There are no vacations or sick days.  What you do today has a lasting impact on tomorrow. 

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