Now Children, Play Nice: Lessons from the Playground
The running of our nation is certainly not child’s play. Yet in recent years, I’ve seen more childish antics in the political arena than I have at the local playground. The political climate in this country is harsh. Debates seem to be fueled more by hate than by policy differences. Political leaders (elected, self proclaimed, and otherwise), don’t make me come down there! Learn to get along.
In referring to disputes between the Left and the Right, one might have jokingly said, “why don’t they just take it outside and settle it?” But you can’t say that in today’s world. Staunch supporters on both sides seem all too willing to take the suggestion literally.
Lately there has been a lot of name calling, finger wagging, and mud slinging all around. Would we accept this behaviour from children on the playground? Shouldn’t we expect our politicians and government officials to embrace standards that are, at a minimum, as high as those we demand of our children?
Name calling: When a child doesn’t get his or her way, they often resort to name calling. Terms like “stupid”, “block head”, “unpatriotic“, “socialist“, “war criminal“, and “evil” get thrown around. People will always have differing opinions and strategies. That does not mean, however, that they have an evil plot to destroy the world.
Taking turns: Two kids are playing. Each wants to play a different game. When it’s time for Child A to choose a game, Child B shouldn’t stomp off and say that’s a stupid game. Child B should make an effort to make the game a success and have fun. When it’s Child B’s turn to choose, Child A should be also be polite. Likewise when one political party comes into power, the opposing party should attempt to work towards the success of the country. This does not mean giving up their ideals. It simply means finding ways to work together where possible. Sitting it out, complaining, and hoping that the other party fails is not the mature way to go.
Breaking the rules: Hitting is not acceptable… nor are obscene gestures. Certain behaviors are inappropriate on the playground and some behaviors are inappropriate in the oval office (and surrounding hallways- ahem).
When it comes to solving the nations problems, “are we there yet?” No, but instead of whining, taunting and bullying, let’s learn to work together. And the same way parents wouldn’t egg-on a fight on the playground, let’s not stir up MSNBC and Fox News.
(picture from here)