TBT Recollections of a High School Counselor: "Responsibilities: We've All Got Em"

RESPONSIBILITIES-300x226Responsibilities! We all have them some of us have more than others. To me responsibility is having direct control or authority over my actions or decisions and being held accountable for them.  I control them, I am the only one who can live up to them or shy away from them.

We begin to learn about responsibility and the consequences for not living up to them during childhood. For example, as a boy it was my responsibility to keep the backyard free of weeds. My dad mowed and edged the lawn, but the weeding was my job. There were never any incentives for doing it only consequences for not getting it done. In school I was responsible for behaving and getting good grades.

As I grew older and began driving I had even more responsibility. My dad would always remind me that whenever I was behind the wheel, I was responsible for the lives of my passengers. Then I entered the working world and the responsibilities kept a coming!  Soon  came adulthood and I got married and had children and bought a house! My God it was like responsibility overload!

There came a time when I began to doubt myself and didn’t believe I was capable of handling so much responsibility. I was afraid and even considered running away! Can you imagine, a grown man in his twenty-teens thinking about leaving it all behind and beginning again elsewhere, new name , new game. Thank God that crazy idea didn’t last too long, and in time I was able to conquer my fears and accept my responsibilities. I’ve taken my responsibilities seriously ever since.

Take today for instance. I woke up around six feeling horrible. I hadn’t slept well and my back was really hurting bad. I managed to drag myself out of bed, took some Tylenol and laid back down. At seven I was still laying there. I had nearly succeeded in convincing myself that staying home was the best option. I have sick time, as well as a couple of comp days on the books so no problem, right? Wrong.  As I was lay there in the midst of confirming my decision to call in sick, a feeling suddenly came over me, my eyes sprang open and just like that, my sense of responsibility kicked in.

I couldn’t take the day off! One counselor was already scheduled to be out and we were beginning 12th grade registration. That would mean that Dave, the remaining counselor would have to shoulder the load.  How could I even think about doing that to him? I had to go in.

On the other hand  hadn’t I covered for him before, and didn’t the boss say on Friday she was willing to help out if needed. Besides, my back was really hurting. It wasn’t like I was faking or anything. But then Dayna (our boss) is extremely busy, if I didn’t go in I’d be pulling her away from her  duties and putting her behind. What to do?


pinto1-300x226The debate raging in my mind was reminiscent of a scene from  the movie Animal House in which one of the characters, Pinto, is faced with a moral dilemma and is visited by his conscience – an angel and his dark side – a devil,  and is  bombarded by advise from both.


Eventually good wins out, and he makes the right decision.

As did I.  I slowly got up, dressed and headed for work.

Chalk up another one for responsibility…




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