I felt a bit hard-hearted over a couple of my reactions to news items yesterday but they’re how I genuinely feel. People are fallible and they make mistakes but they have to accept responsibility or they’re living in dream worlds.
If a child is discovered lifeless in a swimming pool and you’re the adult whose care she’s in, it is your fault. After she dies, if people say, “You can’t blame yourself”, they are wrong. You can forgive yourself and move on, because you are just a human, but she was helpless and needed an adult for everything else. Nothing was more important than her safety.
There was evidence for my heels-dug-in belief in not having overly caring friendships with members of the opposite sex in the form of the meltdown of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He went missing for several days and now it has emerged, complete with weepy, sucky emails, that he was in Argentina “crying for five days” over ending an affair with a woman he started out as “dear, dear friends” with in an e-mail only relationship. She began asking him for advice, he began getting more attached and it’s the story as old as time. Next thing you know, he’s lying to everyone he knows and jetting away from his wife and four children to canoodle in Argentina.
Commitment takes intention. It has to be protected with a solid fence around it. You’ve heard the cliche, the heart wants what the heart wants? That piece of b.s. was invented by people who didn’t erect any fences because they loved the thrill of the chase and the new adventure. The Governor didn’t protect his commitment and now he’s weeping and begging for forgiveness. It’s easy to say “Sorry” when you’ve done something wrong but it’s more difficult to avoid doing the wrong thing in the first place. And that, Mr. Governor, is what you promised to do when you made a commitment.