“I am responsible.”

My summer has come to an end.  What a terrific summer it has been.  I was able to go to Disneyland with my family in celebration of Katy’s (our daughter) graduation.  I was so happy to have the opportunity to go to Disneyland with all of our family and two family friends.  What a great experience.  As I grow older, I cherish such an experience. 

With Diana (my wife), I attended the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach.  Such an inspiring time.  So much pride all over the place.  While we are there, we stayed with a friend – a friend who I have known for 46 years / supported me in numerous ways – who has accepted the fact he is gong to have his life come to an end due to his Cancer.  At 81, diagnosed with Cancer, it is better to be able to take a walk around his hometown, Carmel, than spend time with chemotherapy. 

Loved the three days in South Lake Tahoe with Diana.  So beautiful up there.  It was great to go during the week.  The crowds were quite light. 

And then all sorts of wonderful feelings with student leaders from bands / color guards / choirs :  eNVision (non-profit group from Reno / Sparks – Fernley / Reed / Truckee High Schools); Rancho Cotate High School; Laguna Creek High School; De La Salle High School; John F. Kennedy High School; Fremont High School; and, my job – Oakmont High School.  I was so honored to give leadership seminars. 

What was different this year?  I am a grandfather.  I had a different level of responsibility teaching these students.  Being a grandfather, I really look at these TEENAGERS / YOUNG ADULTS as they are going to be parents very soon and many of them – THE BEST OF THE BEST – are just a little behind in the preparation to be a spouse and parent.  I can sense it. 

They were riveted by the information and message I was sharing with them. 

What was the information?  Responsibility and Teachability through the lessons of Dr. John C. Maxwell and my life experiences. 

Let’s think about these teenagers / young adults in comparison to our son and daughter-in-law…

PJ is 25 years old. 

PJ is a 2017 University of Idaho alum who is now a Lieutenant Junior Grade officer in the United States Navy.  He has tremendous responsibility as an auxiliary officer on a multi-multi-million dollar ship. 

PJ’s wife – Ashlee is 23 years old.

Ashlee is a 2017 University of Idaho alum.  She graduated in three years with honors.  Extremely smart young lady.

Ashlee is the mother of our soon-to-be (September 1, 2019) one-year-old grandson, JP.  She does have the responsibility of babysitting another one-year-old. 

Our son and daughter-in-law are less than ten years older than the seniors I am going to teach this year. 

When I shared this information about my son and daughter-in-law to the students I taught this summer, their eyes widely opened. 

“Just think… you (seniors) are just eight years younger than my son and he is a husband and father.  Are you getting closer to being ready to being a spouse and parent?” 

They shook their head – no. 

I AGREE WITH THEM.  They are not ready.  And part of their not being ready falls on the shoulders of all the adults in their lives:  family / teachers / counselors / family-friends / etc.  We are not allowing the them to be FULLY responsible for their choices.  We are not preparing them to be adults as if they didn’t have mom and dad alive to “hold their hand.”

We are not allowing children to feel pain of failing.  When they fail, many of them are “defended” by their parents / caretakers.  The “defense” comes with a phone call to the teacher complaining about the teacher’s inability to teach their child.  Many children are coached to be the victim in the failure.

And when children do fail, some of the parents make a huge deal about the failure, oppose to it being “just” an event … not a premonition of the future. Take away phone. Take away social times. The punishment doesn’t match the offense. Now, take away time for video games… than, we may have agreement (smile).

Failure is something we all have, and we need to teach our children to place failure in perspective.  Failure is the opportunity to learn.   It doesn’t mean you are “failure.”  You are a “failure” when you miss the opportunities to learn. 

The easiest or – simplest – way to get our children ready to cross the bridge into adulthood?  Answer:

“I AM RESPONSIBLE.”  We need to teach our children this phrase / sentence is one of the most liberating sentences we can say.  Once we say, “I am responsible” we can start the process of wanting to learn! 

Successful people don’t blameshift.  Don’t make excuses.  Successful people have a sense of integrity.  They tell the truth!

The students I taught showed so much relief when I gave them this important information about failure is opportunity to learn / to improve.  It’s not the end of the world.  It’s okay to say, “I am responsible.”

Accepting responsibility also builds trust with others and we all want others to trust us. 

Now, I will move to the tragedies at Gilroy / El Paso / Dayton.  All committed by people who are YOUNG.  I believe these men missed the lessons we were working on this summer.  I don’t know any sane human being behave this evil way when he has known for twenty-plus years that failure is part of life; being responsible is freeing; our job is to add value to others. 

We – adults – need to accept responsibility our children are more than able to commit the same terror as these three men did this week.  The evil acts these men did are signs of a society that is made up of adults who need to do a better job of teaching our children the power of being responsible / learning from failure / adding value to others. 


I looked on Facebook today and saw the word “Fuck” numerous times.  Sure isn’t a word that is loving. 

I looked on Facebook today and saw awful things about people who had / have nothing to do with any of the murders. 

I looked on Facebook today and saw adults blaming others / objects for what the murderers did. 

On TV, I see adults who are LEADERS crying. I get crying is natural, but you are a leader and there needs to be a time when followers need to see a leader stand strong / be stoic. Not crying is not bad. Then, go off camera and get the hug and let the tears flow!!

On TV, I see politicians BEFORE THE BODIES ARE AWAY FROM THE CRIME SCENE “take advantage” and get their “platform” out there.

On TV, I see definite bias. The Gilroy evil SO FAR doesn’t have the same “CENTER OF EVIL” / “CATALYST OF EVIL” that the El Paso evil has. We will hear and see more about the EL PASO EVIL because, yes, it fits their narrative. SAD. And as far as the DAYTON EVIL, so far from what is reported, the EVIL was angry about his sister and therefore, the EVIL’S story will go “away” as fast as the evil’s story went away when the evil murdered people in Virginia Beach, May 31, 2019! That evil doesn’t fit the narrative. See the differences between the Virginia Beach evil and the El Paso evil… you will understand.

If you are an adult (18 years and older), please consider embracing your role as a role model for ALL CHILDREN.  As the mirror of children – your own or those children who are around you.  Please consider sitting next to a teacher and talk to your children, oppose to sitting next to your child across from the teacher.  Be WITH YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER in helping your child to grow. 

Again, your children / our children / students need us to be and ACT like responsible adults.  Stop allowing a three-year-old negotiate as if they are adults.  You are the adult.  BE THE ADULT.  Three year-old children don’t know what is good for them. YOU ARE THE ADULT. YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN!! Just because the three year-old believes he / she is a dog, doesn’t mean you teach them how to poo outside! DAMN.

Ask yourself, “As soon as your child can have sex / if not years before your child can have sex – is your child becoming the adult you would want as the parent of your grandchildren?”  If the answer is “no,” than get your act together and be the adult in the room.  Make change happen. STARTING WITH YOU (the adult) CHANGING. OUR NATIONS’S FUTURE IS IN JEOPARDY BECAUSE OUR ADULTS ARE HOPING FOR “IT’S (the child’s growth) JUST GOING TO HAPPEN.  THEY’LL FIGURE IT OUT.”  Thank God that’s not how we teach people how to drive.   

God Bless Gilroy.
God Bless El Paso.
God Bless Dayton.
Gold Bless the United States of America.

May those who need help, ask for help.
May those who are being asked to help, HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.