blind photoSee no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?

I heard a lot about Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened?” Apparently she covered a lot of reasons why she didn’t win the 2016 presidential election. She blamed the F.B.I., Bernie Sanders, the Russians, being a woman, the emails, why the list went on. From my understanding, everybody and everything got scrutinized except herself. That is the biggest mistake that a person can make!

I have no doubt that a lot of those things that Hillary Clinton mentioned hurt her campaign for president. But how much power does Hillary Clinton have to change any of those things? Almost zero. Therein lies the fundamental problem of accountability, being the mature me, myself & I.

Have you ever watched the Olympics and seen the gymnastics or figure skating? How many times have you seen the judges award a perfect ten? It happens so rarely that just getting a perfect ten is big news. There is always something to improve, a landing, a particular move, a jump. Would it do the athlete any good to blame the floor, or the lighting, or even a judge that was out to give them a low score? All of these may be valid reasons for a poor performance but in the long run focusing on these externals won’t help the performer improve.

So the lesson is focus on what you did wrong. Give yourself a long, hard, honest look. Ask somebody for some positive constructive advice as to what you did wrong. Be prepared to be challenged and to have your ego deflated.

I was talking to a friend who got divorced and remarried. “You heard about my divorce haven’t you?” he asked. “No,” I replied. Then the man went on to tell me his side of the story. The story I got blamed the man’s wife one hundred percent. In fact the man didn’t do one thing wrong. I find that impossible, the man was either lying or in denial. I’m sure his ex wife would have brought up things the my friend didn’t even mention. The danger here is repeating the same bad mistakes one made.

I want to do better in every aspect of my life.  To be a better husband, caregiver, friend, worker and so forth. When something goes wrong I want to find ways that when the next time the same thing goes wrong that I’ll handle the situation better. Take for example my writing. I take a lot of pride in my writing, especially my poetry. It is hard for me to hear criticisms. But if I want to be a better writer I should listen to those remarks. The goal isn’t ingratiating my ego the desire is to become a better writer. I can ignore people’s comments, but if that is the case, why ask in the first place?

This doesn’t mean that I should do everything that people advise me to. I’ve been given a lot of bad advice in my life and I’ve listened and implemented some of it. I’ve followed foolish examples and I’ve gotten burned. Life is a grand experiment and to navigate it the best we all need help.

As somebody that suffers from mental illness I have to extend a great deal of trust to those who care about me. If my psychiatrist gives me recommendations for better mental health I should consider them carefully. When mental health deteriorates so does one’s good judgment. People with psychiatric problems are most resistant to advice in the moments they need it the most.

I listen to everybody. I don’t follow every suggestion but I have no problem trying to understand something new, especially if it could help me. In the end I am the only one accountable for my own behavior. I want to be the mature me, myself & I.

Photos by Anderson Mancini,