Banking at the Family Bank of Honor
Yesterday I had a wonderful evening with my family. Throughout the evening I made several deposits into our “Family Bank of Honor.” Everything just seemed to flow smoothly…very smoothly. I complimented my wife’s new shirt and told her how nice she looked…two deposits into the “Family Bank of Honor.” During a commercial, I got myself a drink and grabbed one up for my wife as well…deposit number two. I asked my daughter, very politely I might add, if she could start the dishwasher…deposit number three for politeness. And, my daughter started the dishwasher without complaining…deposit numbers four and five. You get the idea. We talked and joked around. We spoke politely, did considerate things for one another, and enjoyed physical closeness. Even bedtime was marked by loving “goodnights” and hugs…deposit, deposit, deposit. Overall, we had a great family evening filled with loving, honoring deposits into our “Family Bank of Honor.” By time we finally went to bed, I bet we had accrued over 50 deposits into the “Family Honor Account.” I fell asleep feeling good, even a little cocky, about the honor we had accrued in the “Family Bank of Honor.” What a family man, Mr. Honor himself, a loving husband and father, who has instilled an ongoing culture of honor into his family.
Perhaps (well, maybe “Definitely” would be a better word than “Perhaps”), I was feeling a little too confident, too complacent in my perceived success. I woke up this morning feeling a little grumpy (I say “a little,” my family says “a lot”…you say “tomayto,” I say “tomahto”). Anyway, I think the first words out of my mouth were “Who ate the last grapefruit” in a less than honorable tone…withdraw five deposits. My wife calmly pulled a grapefruit out of the refrigerator. I offered no apology, no thank you, just a grunt…withdraw four more deposits. My daughters were chatty and I was irritated so I gave them a dirty look and said in a harsh tone, “would you be quiet!” Withdrawal again…at least ten since I gave them “the look,” a harsh tone, and an unwarranted demand. That’s a total of 19 withdrawals and I hadn’t even finished breakfast. I eventually left for my morning activities, spent some time alone, and came home in a better mood; but not before making significant withdrawals from the “Family Bank of Honor.” It seems that the deposits of yesterday barely covered the withdrawals of today.
Now I sit here writing about my poorly managed emotional banking. I contemplate the fact that even though I made several deposits yesterday, my account fell under the minimum balance this morning. I broke the bank. What’s the lesson? Simple, make as many deposits into the “Family Bank of Honor” as you can…every day…every chance you get. Really, making deposits is easy. It means being polite, thoughtful, and considerate. Think about the other person and do something kind for them. Give up the last piece of pie and give it to one of your family members. Make as many deposits as you can because a single withdrawal cancels out several deposits. And, we all have those days when we make huge withdrawals, even the best of us. With that in mind, make at least five deposits for every one withdrawal. On average, that’s five positive experiences for every one negative experience. That’s what I learned.
Fortunately, I have a very gracious family. They forgive me. They show me grace, which, come to think of it, is a huge deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” In fact, that deposit of grace inspires me to do some work of my own, to make some new deposits today. Aye, that’s lesson number two–I can make up for this morning’s withdrawals by making new deposits today. The first deposit I will make is an apology for my terrible attitude and grumpy actions. Then, I think I’ll load the dishwasher or play a game of cards with my daughters or give my wife a hug. What the heck, why not do all three? In fact, deposits are rather fun. Deposit, deposit, deposit…fun, fun, fun. I think I’ll work to accrue a deposit overflow. I’m on my way. I got family banking to carry out, honor to accrue, and love to show.