Friday, October 5, 2012

Doggy Bags

No, not the kind you take home from a restaurant.  I'm talking about the ones you take with you on  your walk with your dog.  We do this daily.  Owners take their dogs on a daily walk and carry along a bag to pick up after the dog when he leaves his waste somewhere.  (...refusing to use the normal slang for this act of nature because I am so very tired of potty words and other inferior uses of language)

I was driving home this week and saw a gentleman walking his companion on a leash and the other hand carried the neatly tied "doggy bag".   I had an incident this week that made me think about this on a different level and the familiar scene.  It humors and amazes me how God can speak to me through such mundane and silly things.  Then again, maybe it is in these simple, daily, mundane and normal routines that we learn our deepest lessons.

It has been very real lately the fact that people in our world today do not own up to their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions.  We have also become masters at making it look like we apologize and then continue on to prove that someone else is to blame.  Children  are notorious for this.  It is to be expected.  As adults we are to teach them to take responsibility for their own mistakes.  Some people never grow out of the childish stage and become the adult.  These adults who are stuck in child mode are now having children.  The pattern continues on an entirely escalated level.

Just like we clean up after our animals on the street, I am finding that we are cleaning up after other people's mistakes more often these days.  We pick up their mess, tie it neatly in a bag, and then dispose of it for them and move on.  People leave their messes behind and let us pick them up and clean up the issue.  They do not learn anything from their mistakes if we continue to do this.  Parents begin doing this because it seems easier.  Instead of having to continually remind your child to pick up their toys, parents go behind them and do it themselves because they are pressed for time and want it done quickly and correctly.  I am guilty of this from time to time.

I am continually disturbed by the fact that someone will obviously make a mistake and instead of accepting responsibility AND the consequences, he/she will say, "Yes, but....." and then find a loop hole somewhere that will show that someone else is to blame.  It's the old trick that children play by quickly taking the focus off of their mistake and shifting it to mom and dad by crying "not fair" or "why are you mad at me".

I have also learned that one's word isn't worth much anymore.  The days of a making a deal with a handshake seem to be long gone.  I can verbally tell someone something every day and if they do not follow through with their end of the bargain they will come back and say, "Where is it in writing?"  If I put it in writing they will come back and say, "You should have reminded me or told me."  Even if some fault is admitted people will still find a way to show the other party that they should or could have done something to actually help them follow through.  ALL the responsibility in this case rests on the shoulders of the other person and never the one at fault.  People cry "foul" and even involve lawyers at time to get their way.  "Yes, we may have made a mistake, but you...., and therefore we are not responsible."  It becomes easier to pick up the mess and carry and dispose of it rather than face the fight.

If this pattern continues, each generation will continue to get worse.  The next time you are tempted to just dispose of a mess yourself rather than go through the muddy water of someone blaming you for their mistake, think of the doggy bag.  After awhile it stinks.

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