Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Man in the mirror

I'm still contemplating a two-panel cartoon I saw on Facebook earlier this month.

The one panel displayed a preacher asking his congregation, "Who wants change?" Every hand was raised.

The other showed him asking, "Who wants to change?" No hand was up, perhaps not surprisingly.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with much of our modern political discourse. Few folks these days want to come to the table in humility and work with those who disagree and those that do are often considered turncoats.

Tonight’s Republican presidential debate showed Ted Cruz blaming “[liberal] media bias” for the questions he and the other hopefuls had to answer — but what it that’s really not the case? It’s an easy thing to say, but does he have the proof? I doubt it.

But not just politics, either — I’m also seeing it as a spiritual issue as well. Many folks say they look forward to the return of Jesus Christ; trouble is, they do so for the purpose of cleaning everyone else up or out so that they can live in peace with what they believe to be true. Thing is, when He does come He will change them as well, and they’ll see just how much they need to change.

And that can be painful and humiliating, but at some point the buck has to stop and we have to understand and accept our part in the mess and eventually make amends. That takes real guts, not to mention maturity.

Just ask anyone who’s ever attended 12-step recovery meetings, which I used to do. The process of recognizing and admitting one’s sins — getting specific, that is — is by definition humbling because it means having to take responsibility for one’s own actions and attitudes, something often not encouraged in a previous life. In other words, we simply don’t like to admit fault, often preferring to blame the “other guy.”

But, to solve problems, that won’t do. I’m reminded of the Michael Jackson song “Man in the Mirror”: “If you want to make the world a better place / Take a look at yourself and then make that change.”

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