His Fault

Jane was working on a very special drawing recently. She came out of her room fuming and shoved the drawing in my face. Hal had added his own artistic flair to the picture and it was “ruined!” I pointed out that his scribble was yellow and she intended to color that area red. Furthermore, it was colored pencil so she could erase it to reduce the color. In other words, she could fix it. She then put it back on her desk and began to leave the room.

“Hold on there! Did you really just put that back within Hal’s reach?!”

“Yes. He’s not supposed to come in my room.”

“Was the drawing in your room the last time he colored on it?”

“Yes.”

“Then what makes you think he’s going to stay out now?”

“It’s my room and he’s not supposed to go in there without permission. If he goes in there, he will be wrong and get in trouble.”

“That won’t stop your picture getting ruined though. You should put it on a high shelf.”

“But it’ll be his fault!”

“Are you ok with that? You’d rather leave it in his reach and have it be destroyed but his fault than just put it out of reach and keep it safe?”

“Yes!”

“Ok, so let’s try another scenario. You are walking where walkers have the right-of-way. You see a truck coming and you don’t know whether the driver sees you. Do you step out anyway so that it will be his fault when SMACK! he runs you over? Or do you wait to make sure he stops?”

This got her laughing. “See, honey. You don’t have any control over what Hal does. It would indeed be his fault if he came in, but it would be your drawing that would be ruined. Since you can’t control him, you have to do what you can to keep his actions from harming what is important to you.”

This conversation was followed by her approaching Hal and, in a menacing tone, warning, “Stay out of my room!” To which he responded, “Well you should put a lock on your door if you want me to stay out!”

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