Getting Started on Reconciliation

So our ridiculous government is shutdown again. And how do our “leaders” use their time? In blaming one another. Blame is childish, useless, never productive, and a severe threat to reconciliation.

Since our leaders refuse to lead, I hereby appoint myself king. I will from time to time issue strict orders that will slowly lead us out of partisanship, the pettiness, the petulance, that now dominate Washington.

Here is the order for today, to be in effect for the next ten thousand years: No one in Washington is permitted to evade responsibility by saying a single word which even vaguely sounds like blame.

The punishment for violating this rule is to have one’s mouth covered with  43 layers of duct tape.

There! See how simple is was to solve 50% of Washington’s problems?


May I take a moment to talk about blame and responsibility? Blame is an oppressive force, making any positive steps more difficult. Responsibility is something quite different. If you seek someone to blame, you’re making progress.

If you ask, Who is responsible? you immediately run into a devilish choice. You might find yourself asking who is responsible for creating this mess. That is the same as asking who is to blame and gains nothing.

The real question, the helpful question is, Who is responsible for improving this situation? Asked that way, the question opens doors and creates hope. And one of your first discoveries will be that you bear at least some of the responsibility. This is so very much better than evading responsibility by blaming someone else.

Oh how I wish we had some grownups in Washington, that we would learn to recognize, nominate, and elect grown-ups.


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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2 Responses to Getting Started on Reconciliation

  1. Grown-ups in Washington? That’s quite a radical concept, Mike. If only we could ban blaming, as you suggest—it would naturally lead to problem-solving. And the relative silence coming out of D.C.—and Twitter—would be enormously healing. The concept of shared responsibility for running the country appears to have been abandoned by the children we elected. Let’s hope we do better next time.

  2. mthayes42 says:

    I remain convinced that the problem is not really in Washington but in the voting booths back home. It would help if we could undo Citizens United and take other steps to clear out the big money from our election process, but that is not likely to happen. Alas and alack.

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