It may come as some surprise to you but I, on occasion, have the mild tendency to overcommunicate. Even if such were not a seemingly biological compulsion, it is still my strong preference for more information than less, thus my inclination to provide as much data as the listener will within reason allow. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but it is my default position and, while trying to refine my predilection, I also must be true to myself.
Combined with my garrulousness is an inherent sense of personal responsibility, a trait inherited from and nurtured by my folks, who never were and never are inclined to shirk their duties or pass the proverbial buck. It always stopped with them, even when circumstances conspired to make the assumption of these burdens a monumental task. They taught me and my brother that our fates were our own, regardless of the actions or omissions of others.
We are a driven family, but our upbringing was never such that failure was a catastrophe; it was just a natural part of life. I may have taken the perfectionism to an unhealthy level, but that was a self-created outcome that my parents did their best to help me avoid. Mistakes were learning experiences, disappointments made room for better days, tears were natural. Of course, being on the higher spectrum of intense, we definitely used losses as motivational fodder, but there is little point to life if we are not always seeking to improve.
There was always a ready hug for those down moments, but there was never any ear for excuses and for that I am so incredibly grateful. I do not believe that my life is predestined, that my outcomes are preordained, that I have abdicated control over my existence. Just as my successes are my own (even though I am often loathe to acknowledge them), I claim accountability for my myriad failings. As a corollary, since my victories would not be possible without external support, it follows that I have some role to play in a disaster that was not entirely or even mildly of my own making.
As the walls are falling down, it is easy to attempt to shift blame to someone else or point out extenuating factors leading to the demise, but that (A) is not productive to prevent the imminent collapse and (B) ignores that there is always something that you could have done better, even if it was having the good sense to not get involved in the first place. And yet, and yet, and yet, excuses still abound, appear to be the most common linguistic currency.
Every situation has its complexities, its particularities, and therefore its own specific debrief. Analysis of failure is a critical endeavor, one that requires introspection, discussion, and exposition. There is a critical distinction between explaining the reasoning behind an errant decision and attempting to escape liability, whether legal or social. One is growth, the other stunts it, reverses it, destroys it.
When I inevitably screw up, I want people to understand why, but I do not want them to grant me pardon. Innately loquacious and quick to claim culpability, my explanations can be lengthy and self-flagellating. But by explaining my foibles, I am not only contributing to the fabric of my relationship with others, providing a deepening insight and rapport therewith, but I am also inherently soliciting feedback, constructive or otherwise. That dialogue, that journey to mutual understanding is the bedrock upon which a better society can be built.
To the extent that Violet ever were to make mistakes, an outcome that has yet to occur over the past decade, I would be keen to encourage her to embrace them, to dissect them, to tell me a few reasons why the error was made. But, in this unlikely outcome, I would decidedly not tolerate any attempt to squirm away from consequence. The parental lineage must continue.