Blame. Whose fault it is that we ended up in this situation...
So easy to take some statistics and abuse them to lay the blame at this or that demographic, as if society could neatly be divided up along the lines of age or gender or birth-place or domicile or whatever.
So easy for me to slip into blaming the interpretation of data or the media protrayal of people or groups as blaming others.
If blame we must - and I don't ever see blaming as helpful - then I will start by blaming myself (no this is not me in self-flagellation mode, bear with me)
I will blame myself that I assumed other people would see or hear things as I heard or saw them
I will blame myself that I did not sit down with someone and listen to their fears or opinions
I will blame myself that now, when the die is cast, I kept silent when perhaps I should have spoken
But I don't think blame helps, it shifts responsibility away from me and on to the 'other'
Casting stones, as if that somehow sorted the problem, when all it does if inflict pain on the 'other' and demean our own humanity - one day we, too, will be the 'other' for someone else.
Blaming myself then, both injures and dehumanises me, and that scares me.
So not blame, not casting stones
Instead, taking responsibility
Accepting that I cannot change the past
Learning from my mistakes and those of others
Trying not to make assumptions
Learning to speak out when I disagree (and not, as sometimes happens, eventually shouting at the wrong people for the wrong reasons)
Modelling better the values I claim... even if that is personally risky (and for me this is really hard - I am not a risk taker)
Being more open about the fact that in a disordered world, where I can't fix everything and my utopian nationless, moneyless egalitarian pipedream isn't going to happen, sometimes I have to choose which of the many important justice issues I can helpfully "champion" even if that upsets, disappoints or angers others.
Trying to be "grown up" (whatever that means) whilst allowing others the space to be otherwise, when that is what is needed
Perhaps these stones we each discover to be in our hands could be put to better use...
To make 'stone soup'
To build a cairn on our journey...
To build a bridge - but not a wall
To build a house where love can dwell...
Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together
I am not sure which kind of 'time' this is, but I can't help feeling that either of these options, to lay the stones and stop with the blaming, or to gather the stone together and build something good, would be more positive. Maybe, just maybe, we can do both...