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Shattered Glass

I made some poor decisions when I was a child...

When I say some, I mean a lot... 

Don't judge me.

Usually these decisions resulted in me breaking something.

As a young boy, playing outside was a staple of my daily routine, and when the summers hit, I obviously spent a lot more time outside.

This meant I was probably going to make a lot more ridiculous decisions.

As I was shooting hoops one summer day, a friend of mine came up the street to enjoy some time together.

"Hey Richie" he said.

"Hi Friend" I replied.

As he approached, I recognized that he had brought up his lacrosse stick, which I had no business using.  He was really good, but I was really bad.

Anyways, he put his lacrosse stick down, and we started shooting some shots with the basketball.

Naturally, we made our way further and further from the basket, even though we were not making any of the close shots.

In time, we were across the street, trying to heave one armed cannons from about 30 feet away.

As the heat increased, the unwise thoughts grew, and I looked over to that lacrosse stick that my friend had brought.  I figured since I was awful at lacrosse, I needed to find a way to incorporate lacrosse, and for some reason thought he would be more impressed by my basketball skills as a result...

Yes you read that correctly, and yes it does not make any sense.

I told my friend that I thought I could take the lacrosse ball, stand 30 feet from the rim, and with the sharpest of accuracy, bury it into the hoop.

And of course, the bet was made.

I ran over to the lacrosse stick, grabbed the ball and ran back to my post across the street.  I prepared my celebration in my head for when I made the shot, and with all the strength in my 90 lbs body, launched it up into the sky.

As I watch the ball glide through the air, approximately 5 feet wide right of the backboard...a chill ran through my bones.  I knew that what was about to happen was not going to be favorable in my case to proved that I was in fact, the greatest backyard athlete on the block.

Completely passed the basket, the ball continued to sail, and started to make its way towards the house.  Still unaware of what I was going to tell my friend about missing the shot, a little nervousness started to creep into my mind.

At that point, I had thrown several tennis balls at the house, but never a lacrosse ball.  Also, every time I threw a tennis ball, I was not throwing it with too much force.  This lacrosse ball was in hot pursuit and was only stopping when it reached home.

The ball sailed and sailed, and came crashing into a window on the side of our house.

"Uhhh...I have to go home now..." my friend said as he scurried off, leaving the lacrosse stick and lacrosse ball as evidence for my guilt.  Honestly, I can't even blame him.  This wasn't my finest moment.

I slowly approached the glass, thinking to myself that I was only dreaming and when I got closer, the window would be fixed...

The window was not fixed when I got close.

"What have you done Richie?"  I asked myself.  "We didn't you shoot it left?".

Then a much more important question hit me..."What are you going to tell Dad?!"

At this point, I had several pending cases against me, all based around damages done to the house, but none like this.  My dad was coming home in a couple hours and I had some thinking to do.

I checked the window periodically for several hours later, and eventually saw my dad preparing to walk to the door.  I quickly ran outside and just stood in the window that I had just broken.

"Hi Richie" my dad said with a smile, and I just looked down at the shattered glass.

He looked down at the glass, as his face dropped.  He let out a deep sigh and calmly asked, "what did you do?"

I sheepishly explain my wrongdoings, and what appeared to be a case of "House-Damage Fatigue", my dad simply said, "you need to be more careful".  I had damaged so many things in the house at this point, I sensed that he had no more words.

He briefly explained to me all of the things that will be effected by my misjudgement, then let me go on my way.

I learned a valuable lesson on this day.

First and foremost, throwing a lacrosse ball 30 feet towards windows just is not a smart decision.

More importantly, I got a lesson in patience and accountability.

Once my dad explained to me how a decision I made out of pride, affected others who weren't even involved in the situation, I recognized the error of my ways.  He could have screamed and yelled, and maybe that would have worked, but for whatever reason, he realized that ownership would be more effective.

I can't say that this instance was the last time I made a mistake, but I can say it was the last of the bigger house damages.  Afterwards, I tried to be more aware of what I was doing before jumping the gun to prove an ultimately useless point.

Relaying messages are so specific to the individuals that you are speaking with.  Accountability should always be accounted for, but the delivery takes some time to master.   Every case is different, but every case can be addressed.

I'd like to believe that my aim has gotten much better since this time of my life, but that would be a terribly shallow takeaway from this event.

Not only did I learn that every action we make, may have negative results that we must take responsibility for...I also learned that patience is a great teacher and that as the student, I must continue the cycle that was passed on to me.

Happy Father's Day

Until next time,

Long Live The People

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