We’re responsible for our actions . . . really

The following is a true story. Really. No one can make this stuff up.

On Dec. 15, I was working on a column about New Year’s resolutions and wrote the following:

We are responsible for ourselves – if I keel over from a heart attack the fault doesn’t lie with McDonald’s because they make quarter pounders. It’s not Titus Bakery and their delicious doughnuts. It’s not anyone or anything but mine. 

As a society, we seem to always be looking for ways to blame someone else. Look, I lost dang near a hundred pounds by working my butt off (literally). Exercising each day – watching what I ate and all that good stuff. I gained it back when I stopped.


Is there blame? Oh hell yes. And it’s all mine.

It’s high time we quit wasting time on a bunch of crap that doesn’t work. I respect immensely the religious community in Indianapolis who talk about the need to stop the violence. I’ve been listening to them for years. Yet our state capital set another record for murders.

When the city-county council over there decides it wants to stop the violence and puts strict penalties for unlawful possession of firearms in city limits, things will change.

When laws change and murdering someone becomes something that is punished severely, things will change.

When we stop throwing minor criminals in with the rapists and murderers and child molesters and make prison a true deterrent, things will change.

When we decide that we are each responsible for our own actions . . . Things. Will. Change.

OK, so that’s what I wrote almost two weeks ago. What you don’t know, and as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story is I did have that heart attack. I didn’t keel over, but only because my wonderful wife was there to catch me – and drive me to the hospital. I was transferred to the good folks at St. Vincent’s Heart Center in Carmel. If there’s a better place to go for heart help, I don’t know where it would be. I spent the last few days there, and am now facing surgery – unfortunately, the kind where they cut you open from soft spot to soft spot.

Am I blaming anyone? Oh, we could go through a long list of my favorite restaurants, and perhaps include a few of my favorite cold beverages. 

It’d be for naught.

Like previously stated, the fault is mine and mine alone. And should the talented docs give me another chance through a successful surgery, then those personal life choices will once again have a big impact on what direction things go. I am hopeful that hard lessons like these can penetrate even my thick skull and I’ll choose better.

I know it’s easy – almost expected – in today’s world to blame others. It’s easy to say white is black and black is white, even though something sits plain as day in front of us. There’s a whole bunch of folks who think just because they say something it can change facts.

That’s not reality. Never has been. Never will be.

It’s time for good folks to stand up. Those folks have always been accountable for themselves, but it’s time to start holding everyone accountable. Do so at the ballot box. Do so by talking with your neighbors. Do so by being straight and forthright. Do it any way you want, but it’s time we start.

One last thing and then I’ll climb off my soapbox. Word is filtering out about my health and I’ve been inundated with kind words and prayers. I appreciate them – and you – more than I can say. I hope to be back soon. Part of that is in God’s hands. But living right and being smarter is in mine – and that’s exactly the way it should be.

Timmons is the chief executive officer of Sagamore News Media, the company that owns The Noblesville Times. He is a proud Noblesville High School graduate and can be contacted at