No, I am not referring to the lyrics of Green Day’s Jesus of Suburbia. It is how I continually explain to my kids, my brother and even my parents that I will support, help out and get involved in various aspects of their lives, but they need to lead. It is their lives, their choices. If its important to them, then it is important to me. If they are not going to take a stake in something, make the required investment and demonstrate effort, then they should not expect me to take responsibility for it.
The other night my brother called up and asked me to come over and help him out with something. It was late, the streets were icy and it would have been really inconvenient for me to drive the 30 minutes over to his place. I asked him to look for something, with the intent of eventually trying to talk him through what needed do be done and then if he could not do it, I would come over. But it didn’t happen that way. He got annoyed and told me that he was not good at this kind of thing and he didn’t want to look for the wire that I asked him to find. So I said good bye and hung up.
The next morning he called again and told me that he didn’t appreciate how I acted or spoke to him. He was really angry. I said to him, “if you don’t care enough about your own situation to try and work through it, then frankly I don’t care either. If you call me up and ask for my help at 10:00 PM but can’t take the time or show some effort and look for the wire that you need to solve your problem, you can’t possibly expect me stop what I am doing and come over to your place.”
He calmed down and thanked me for explaining my position to him. So I told him what to look for and we began working through his problem. And it was my pleasure to help him out.