There were plenty of other places to sit on the outdoor patio at the Broome St. General Store


So, if she didn’t like my 5 month old Labrador puppy, Charlie…she didn’t have to sit next to him.  (Remember the poop bags?)

But she did.  And she hated every second of it.

She glared, grunted, rolled her eyes, and twisted in her seat like she was avoiding the second coming of the black plague--hardly the normal response to little Charlie.  

I just looked at her. 

You see, after 3 months with a puppy, I’ve mastered the “I-Will-End-You” stare.

But my IWEY look didn’t phase her.  She just kept complaining, squirming, and blaming a puppy for her seating choice.

As we like to say in the South…Bless her little heart.

Yea--this is the puppy she complained about!

Yea--this is the puppy she complained about!

We didn’t even come close to running over the cyclist.

You’d have to know the roads, but believe me when I say its…well…complicated.  Imagine, if you can, a three-way intersection between a bridge, a one-way street, and a freeway exit.     


But, seriously, we didn’t even come close to hitting him.  Besides, we were in a Prius and I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to litter, speed, or hit cyclists in a Prius. 

But, he followed us anyway.  Ariel was driving, and I was in the passenger seat.  In a screaming rage, he decided to roll up to my window—which was probably the better choice, Ariel has a much better IWEY look than I do.

You stupid F$%@--watch where you’re going!  You should pay better attention!  You weren’t watching where you were goingF$%@  F$%@ F$%@

 He was inches from my window when I rolled it down.

Hey man, its ok.  It’s ok. 

 He just stared at me.  So, I asked:

Are you ok?

He thought for a second, rolled his eyes, hung his head, and peddled off.

As you can see...not an easy intersection for a cyclist to navigate across...

As you can see...not an easy intersection for a cyclist to navigate across...

It seems like there’s never a good time to talk about accountability.

“Hey, that’s a YOU issue, own it, and move on.”  …not a great way to make new friends.

Accountability is the empowering belief that you are responsible for your choices, and therefore, able to acknowledge and address the consequences.

Here’s two reasons why it matters:

1)   Accountability is the key to Power:  The lady in the coffee shop complaining about my perfect 5 month old puppy behaved as if she was not in control and was being forced to sit next to my Charlie Truth is, she may really feel this way.  Many of us have lost a sense of our power, and often complaining is the result.  Complaining is the surest way to tell the world you are powerless.  Accountability, however, is the clearest demonstration of your power, and a prerequisite for solution. After all, it’s hard to complain about something when you’re busy fixing it.

2)   Accountability is the key to Growth:  I’m not sure who was at fault.  Maybe we could have been more aware, and maybe the cyclist could have taken a less trafficked route, maybe there needs to be more bike paths. In the end, though, its on me.  Blaming someone else would deny my power and destroy my growth; but, accountability creates power, and fuels growth.  If I believe that everything is someone else fault, then I'm left unable to correct or learn from it.  So, in spite of his bi-pedaled rage, I'll admit, I pay much more attention at that intercession.    

*Of course, there are times when things happen to us.  When we are not in control.  I know many people on the path to healing from the actions of others.  They have made the especially brave choice to embrace accountability in the most courageous of ways.  And remind us that we cannot be accountable for the behavior of other people, but we can be accountable for our response to their behavior. 

Nowadays, I bring a chew toy for little Charlie when we go to the coffee shop, and I’m much more careful at that intersection.  Maybe, I’ll just let Charlie drive us to the coffee shop…  then again…  maybe not.

Are you harboring blame or holding others responsible for your choices?  Do you hate puppies? Have you hit a cyclist?

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