Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughtful About . . . Taking Responsibility

Ironing Women by Ivana Kobilca
It's so easy to point fingers, isn't it? From something as small as "Look what you made me do!" to the bigger "Don't blame me--I voted for the other guy."

This is a problem I've recognized in myself for years--not so much in politics, LOL, but in little things. It's not my fault for neglecting things, it's the fault of whoever distracted me. It's not my fault we didn't have that conversation, I tried but you put me off. It's not my fault this venture isn't growing; I'm doing my part, now you need to pick up the slack.

It's so, so easy to fall into this trap. And something I've been thinking about again after reading a really aggravating kids book. I picked it up at the library expecting it to be whimsical and fun, since it had a cute little picture of dragons on the cover. But it wasn't--it was an environmentalist sermon that basically told kids, "Do you know any dragons who are destroying our world by not recycling? Sic 'em!"

Yeah, um--not what I'm trying to teach my little ones, thank you very much. I want to teach them to be responsible, but not to play the blame game. Not to point fingers. I have a hard enough time convincing them not to blame each other for every little thing, I don't need picture books telling them it's okay to do that so long as you slap a cute picture on it first.

And of course, elections bring it up too. It seems like so often the two sides of the aisle do nothing but blame the other for what they see as the woes we're facing. They get angry, they get upset, and they can't (or perhaps don't try?) to understand that opposite point of view. The result? A nation divided.

It makes me so sad. I hate when I see this tendency in myself, I try so very hard to teach my kids not to fall into that same destructive way of thinking, because let's face it--all that ever does is destroy relationships and keep your focus, always, on yourself. As long as it's someone else's fault, then I don't have to fix anything.

But that approach doesn't work. It doesn't work in our nation, in our states, in our communities, in our churches, in our families, or in our marriages. It does--not--work. We cannot ever think "If only I could change him/her/them..." No. We can only change ourselves. And until everyone sees that they need to change themselves, until we all take responsibility for our own actions and lack of actions, then this disease is going to keep on spreading.

We have to stop thinking "If only they would..." and start praying "Lord, help me to..." We have to stand up. We have to then fall to our knees. And we have to start changing from the inside (ourselves) out.

1 comment: