Is it time for all of us to grow up?

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My two youngest children were born 22 months apart. Life was busy and chaotic, leaving no dull moment ever to visit our home.

While they were growing up, the two young ones continually blamed the other for everything. Conversations usually ended the same way, and it started early in life.

“Pick up your toys,” I instructed.

“Does Corey have to?” his sister would say.

“Yes, he does,” I replied.

“Mom, she has more toys than I do,” her brother yelled.

After 30 minutes of pointless childhood arguing, I finally stopped them both.

“He started it!” Heather was pointing her finger at Corey.

“No, she started it!” he yelled while pointing his finger at his sister.

The blame game took up another 30 minutes. I never knew it could take one hour to pick up ten toys, but those two could stretch out a chore for days.   

Once they reached adulthood, the fingers were at their side, and the blame game was over. They finally learned it was easier just to pick up the toys.

Some folks, however, are still using valuable time and energy blaming another for any and every problem they have. 

Listening to the national conversations this week, I find it perplexing that many still want to point fingers and yell, instead of trying to solve America’s problems. Compromise is not easy, but healthy debate is necessary to achieve it.    

Accusatory blame has become a massive problem in our country.  Not only in government, but in our conversations with each other.  Personally, I am tired of every issue regarding any subject becoming a liberal or conservative sticking point. Neither of these two words was meant to be wrong, but it is the way we have used them that has turned them ugly.

It seems that both the liberals and conservatives are so busy pointing their fingers, they forgot they had work to do.  I could just put both in a corner without any dessert after dinner.     

This vitriolic behavior causes hatred to rise, tempers to flair and compromise about as impossible as me getting two toddlers potty trained. 

We can’t solve essential issues if we don’t settle ourselves down to create a calm atmosphere with the resolve to open our ears to another’s words.

If you don’t think children hear and feel the tension that is whirling in this toxic created environment, think again.  Our discord has trickled down to create anger, hopelessness and defiance. The longer we use our current system of passing blame, the closer we get to losing respect from those that look to us for direction and solutions.

We cannot ask our children to show respect when we don’t display respect for one another. We can no longer tell a child to be kind and not bully when they see both bullying and unkindness daily.

When we call people disparaging names, when we pass judgment and when we refuse help solve problems, then we can’t teach our younger generation by our example, can we?

Go to social media and notice the fingers pointing.  Turn on the TV and see government representatives, lobbying groups,and Mr. Everyday Citizen pointing that finger. Listen to the rhetoric and absorb how many times the word liberal or conservative sounds derogative. Tune into the folks playing the blame game everywhere. 

Many people have great ideas they would like to espouse, but out of fear of retribution, never speak. Their freedom of speech is quieted by the bullies who have the arrogance always to believe they are right. 

Each of us, including myself, like to think we could have a solution to every problem in this country.  It is our right to have opinions. It is our right to fight for our beliefs, but it is not right to not listen or absorb another viewpoint with respect.

How many people read a snippet on the internet that pushes their agenda, then share it without checking the facts? Is it responsible to repeat a lie? I don’t think so. When that happens, we cannot blame the originator of the myth, but only ourselves for spreading it.

My children grew up because it was the only way to go. Maybe we should too. Can we not have compromise instead of nothing? Isn’t it time to put away the blame game? Can we pick up our toys, stop acting like toddlers, so that our children will grow into responsible, respectful, problem solving, kind adults? 

Isn’t it time to start behaving before God puts us in time out?