Taking Ownership

I just took my wife’s car in for a routine service job that needed to be performed.  When I picked it up I noticed that the tires were not completely balanced, and that the car was slightly shaking.  In that moment I was definitely frustrated.  I mean I spent a good bit of money for this service job, and my time is extremely valuable, or so I think!  I picked up the phone and called the dealership to inform them of this, completely anticipating having to fight with them to get it fixed.  The guy I had been working with was not available so I left him a message.  When he called me back he surprised me with his response, “Hello Mr. Grimes, I am so sorry that we failed to meet and exceed your expectations in servicing your vehicle.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have put on you and your time.  At your convenience please bring the car back in, and we will correct the problem and give you a loaner vehicle.”  I was blown away…this guy actually accepted the responsibility for the situation, and took the steps necessary to correct the situation.

In our society today, taking ownership, especially when it relates to a problem or a mistake, is something that is shunned and looked down upon.  Instead we always look for ways to push the blame onto someone else’s doorstep.  As Christians we should be different than the world around us, and when we mess up, we should take the ownership for our mistake and do what it takes to correct it, especially with our kids.  How often as parents have we made mistakes with our kids?  Maybe it was handling a situation the wrong way, or jumping too quickly to judgment in a situation.  Regardless of the situation, what our kids need to see is us owning our mistakes, and not pushing the blame onto someone else.  One of the most powerful things we can do for our kids is to show them how to take ownership, even when it means we have to eat some humble pie.  It takes a lot of courage to admit when we are wrong, especially to our kids, but they must see this example.  When we take ownership with our kids, it will give them a new level of respect for us and our leadership over them. 

I can say this; I will definitely be taking my car back to these guys.  In a world where everything is someone else’s fault it is quite refreshing to encounter someone who will take the ownership for their mistakes.  When we take ownership of our mistakes, others actually begin to respect us.  Let’s teach our kids to be people who own their mistakes, and set the example for the world around them to follow.