Energy Minister, Josh Fryndenberg, and Opposition front bencher, Joel Fitzgibbon’s awkward stoush in the halls of Parliament House last Tuesday morning delighted the media pack who are always on the prowl for a controversial story.
But the finger-pointing and an eagerness to play the “blame game” on the issue of national energy policy troubled me.
For those of you who missed the story, each side of the house (Government and Opposition) is blaming the other for high energy prices here in Australia and for what is becoming an unpredictable future regarding emission reduction commitments and future energy demands.
The two parliamentarians concerned clashed openly on this issue in front of a host of television cameras. It was rather peculiar viewing as I munched on my corn flakes.
We like to point the finger at others when it comes to dealing with difficult issues that deeply concern us. Conversations around immigration policy and asylum seekers constantly worry me while rhetoric surrounding North Korea involving Donald Trump, on the one side, and Kim Jong- un, on the other, just adds to the intractable nature of the conflict.
Pointing the finger may be a natural reaction. But playing the “blame game” means nobody wins. It takes us nowhere. Here Gandhi’s famous quote “an eye for an eye leaves us all blind” comes into play. Here, solutions have to be found. Ways forward must be deciphered.
It takes courage and a great deal of effort to deal with issues that demand our attention today. Pointing the finger, getting angry, laying the blame and even vilifying the other is a rather pointless way of acting.
In the letter to the Colossians, Paul exhorts the community to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). I don’t think Paul is saying we have to lay down and roll over. Rather, Paul is saying we must take Jesus as our example. Here the basis to real living is unconditional love where the “other” is vitally important and where everyone, and everything, matters.
Next time someone upsets you, gets in your way and or appears to short-circuit what’s important or sacred to you, don’t play the “blame game”. Rather, be Christ to them. Be Christ to others. Seek real solutions. Embrace directions that come in following the one who is the “way, the truth and the life.”