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Just this week as I was walking through the lobby of my office, I noticed the small glittery heart and, the floor now had a partner in crime – a small glittery shamrock. My office likes to decorate for the holidays - including dressing up a large deer head on the wall named “Buck”. I fully support holiday celebrations – in fact my husband says there has not been a holiday created that I am not willing to celebrate. However, Valentines had passed and so had St Patricks’ day, and those small glitters from the decorative garland bothered me. I had stared down that heart thinking surely someone would pick it up off the floor, but no, no one had. And now, now it was in obvious need of it picking up. Whose job was it?

A little background. BYU is known to be one of the cleanest and best maintained campuses in the country. This is in large part due to the armies of student workers the University believes in hiring. However, with the advent of Covid, for whatever reason, student workers have been in short supply, and there have been “adjustments.” Part of that is the no longer daily custodial clean-up of offices and lobbies – they would be done only three times a week. However, even with my knowing this, I was still waiting for someone else to do their job and pick up that heart, and now shamrock!

As I walked once, twice and then a third time past the two glittery culprits, I realized I was that person my son spoke about when he did trainings in corporate cultures for Partners in Leadership. A question is asked – if not you, who…. what is about human nature that we want to only do our job and blame so easily when someone does not do theirs – what is our accountability! My son loves to humorously share the story of Adam and Eve. When Adam is asked why he ate the fruit, he says “She (Eve), gave it to me.” Basically, in modern English – She did it – it is not my fault!

Thankfully, realizing I was that person, I knelt down and picked up the offending glitters. I carried them into my office, and, on the way out the other door to get a water bottle refill, I noted three more offenders hanging out near the office dividers…and I picked those up. I doubt my office co-workers noticed the missing glitters… It is so much easier to not take responsibility – but again – if not you who? I felt chagrined and reflected on the many times I wait for someone else to “pick it up”, “wipe it off”, “empty it out”, “clean it up”……was I really caring for and about others?


When you go into a public bathroom (and you could even try this at home), after you wash your hands, simply wipe around the sink so it is clean and does not have water dripping off the edges, and soap on the faucet handles. Make it look nice for someone you will most likely never see. This small, simple act of accountability, will make a difference for good in your life, and I believe, in the lives of those around you. Happy wiping!

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