Blaming someone or blaming something, an institution or the government has become too common for all the troubles in our world. It’s always somebody else’s fault, and we don’t see our role in the scheme of things. I have met the ones who, at some social gathering would blame the church for social problems, for prohibition, for drug abuse among the youth, and other associated problems. Blaming the leaders and the government is easy: almost everyone does it without a second thought. From bad roads to water problems, price escalation, and a host of municipal problems to corruption and rigged elections, there are a number of problems that are blamed upon the government. For humans, if there is a problem, the temporary solution seems to be to find someone to blame.
It’s interesting to reflect, if you are blaming the church for societal problems, who is the church? Do you have church membership? Were you baptised at some point of your life? Do you go to church? If so, you are the church, like it or not. And by blaming the church, you have to share in the blame too of apathy or ignorance.
I remember a church member from Liberia named Paus. He would come to church on Sundays, stand a little aloof, and contemptuously look over at the worshippers. He found fault with almost everything they did. But he still came every Sunday to church and continued to find fault with the leaders and the members. In his mind, the church was doing it all wrong, whatever it was they were doing. He could never see himself as part of that community and resultantly, could never see himself as part of the problem, whatever the problem was.The others were the ones creating the problem. I fear many of us are like Paus. We don’t see that we are the church. If there is wrongdoing or if there is lack of understanding, if there are actions ensuing from this lack of understanding, we are co-partners in that action. Those who are more knowledgeable have the responsibility to speak up and show the right path ahead. They are not voiceless and their voices can be better employed helping to point out the right way rather than taking a back bench and criticizing leaders.
In small gatherings, Prohibition and alcohol abuse draw the most criticism for the church. Why not share your ideas of how to address the problem of alcohol in our society to church leaders? Why not help them to think creatively of inclusion programs where the alcohol abuser can be included in the church family and cared for? A church that can train itself to include and accept those struggling with addiction would come halfway to the solution.
The same question applies to the government. Who is the government that keeps getting the blame for the many ills going on? Do you own a voter’s card? Do you cast your vote? Are you part of a municipality? Then you are the government. You have the power to change things at your level, the citizen’s level. We can all join our neighbourhood municipality to improve sanitation in our colony, tackle garbage problems effectively on a daily basis and not just on compulsory social work days, and contribute to making our colony a safe area for children and residents.We have done enough sideline criticism of the authorities and of our leaders.
We can think of empowering ourselves by taking on our right roles – citizens that care to create a better place to live, doing our part, no matter that they seem small. Voting should not just stop at the ballot box. Citizens have the right to regulate and decide how power should go to work. Not by threats, and bandhs, and shows of public dissatisfaction, but by public participation and public cooperation.
Are you dissatisfied with the present system of education and schooling? Have you got better ideas for the dissemination of education to our children? Why not share your ideas? Why not become part of the solution by stepping up? Why remain part of the problem?