Don’t blame the other party, whether we are using the word party to mean political party, or simply another entity, like another person. The responsibility is always with us, never “them.”
That’s the subject of today’s 10-minute podcast.
Let’s begin today’s discussion with a couple of don’ts:
- Don’t blame the other political party. If you want to make progress, and don’t we all, make your party into what the country needs. Criticizing the other party will result only in them criticizing you and your party. This shouting contest will get louder and louder, and nothing will improve save the volume and intensity of the mutual accusations.
- Don’t blame the other person, whoever they may be. Be 100% responsible for what goes on between you two. Or for what happens in a group that you are in. When the others do the same thing, and they should, good stuff will happen.
What we see and hear all of the time, on the radio, TV, social media and just about everywhere, is a constant flow, a flood to the point of being a tirade, of criticism of the “other party.” With Democrats and Republicans, the other party is obvious. With most of the media, the other party is the Republicans. Most radio talk shows see Democrats as the other party. As does Fox News.
And when everyone is heavily criticizing both the policies and the people in the Republican and Democratic parties, then maybe we should believe them–about both parties. Imagine for a moment a divorced couple where you knew both of them. Now picture every conversation you have with them, post their decision to divorce, in person or electronically, being thick with criticism of the other’s thinking, behavior, personality and character. “My ex is a complete scumbag. Let me tell you what he said about me yesterday.” “She is dragging my name through the mud with all of our friends. And you would not believe what she has her lawyer is doing!” They are not only laying into someone you might like, but you are being forced to choose sides. You are put in a position where you either have to take a side, pick one friend and abandon the other, or walk away and wash your hands of both of them. That’s exactly what is happening politically, when personal attacks and scathing criticisms from both political parties are flooding our senses and numbing our brains.
We wish our battling friends would find useful and productive ways to go forward together, despite being in different homes. Especially–especially–if they have mutual and continuing responsibilities like children. And how we would all benefit if the political parties would grow up and find useful and productive ways to go forward together, despite being in different parties, while meeting their mutual and continuing responsibility to our nation.
But we can’t expect anything of our politicians that is not true of us as citizens and voters. Remember, if we want better candidates and office holders, we need to be better citizens and voters. We can all start, individually and collectively, by refusing to participate in the mutually destructive war of words, and concentrate on making ourselves and our chosen political allies into what we believe the country needs. In other words, don’t tear down the other guy’s house; make ours into what we want. Despite what we may feel emotionally from time-to-time, tearing down someone else’s house does not make ours any better. There may be an angry, momentary pleasure that comes from having the better home, but overall the neighborhood is worse off with your home unimproved, and the other torn apart. As our country is worse off when we tear each other apart. We all lose; the country we love loses.
Build. The answer is build and improve. We can’t change or make anyone else better; we can do that only with ourselves. We can’t improve the other guy’s house, but we can improve ours. We can’t make the other party party better by attacking them, but we can improve ours–the one we feel closest to even if we are not officially a member.
And we can’t just think about it; we must act. Contribute to rational discussions. Show up in person at meetings; city council, school board, political party gatherings, etc. What are the important meetings and gatherings in your area? How, specifically, will you act–be involved–to make things better by improving the thinking and actions of those closest to you politically? Remember, tearing down other things and people can only make the neighborhood and the nation worse. Building and improving by acting, by getting involved, is the only thing that can ever make things better.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead, anthropologist.
Segueing from the specifics of today’s topic to overall principles, the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
And do it all in love; without love, these are empty gestures, destined to go nowhere and mean nothing.
If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.
The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.
Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean by “acting.”
- Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
- Comment in the blogs. Let others know what you are thinking.
- Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
- Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
- From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.
Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and go forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.
Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.
And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.
Links and References
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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