Turtle Talk Editorial: Passing the buck…


A very accurate gauge in monitoring maturity is one’s ability to accept responsibility and to give credit where credit is due. It takes no particular amount of wisdom or special intellect to accept praise and shift blame, but it requires a very special degree of spiritual maturity to be able to reverse this process. 

Everyone agrees that the corded fiber that has bound together the religious and political fabric of our society, is loosening more and more every day as crime and decadence continue to increase at home and abroad.  However, no one will assume any responsibility for this alarming trend. Everyone is “passing the buck”–schools blame parents and parents and students alike blame the schools; society lays the blame on the churches while the churches blame society and “the system;” the system blames politics and vice versa and the buck is passed on and on in a never-ending cycle. 

Unfortunately, they are all right!  We must all share a certain amount of guilt in this social and moral decay. The big question now is not who started the ball rolling downhill or who bears the greatest share or blame, but rather what can we realistically do about it, individually and collectively.,  Many give advice, the contribution is usually most freely offered.  Others will offer excuses which, though valid in some instances, contribute little if anything at all toward the solution of the problem but often credence to the root of the problems instead.  

 It has been wisely said that “Excuses are crutches that weak people lean on.”  We must remove such crutches if we are to ever walk tall. 

The primary missing ingredients at the core of the problem can best be summed up in 3-E’s– Education, Equity, and Example!

Education of greatest importance is of three kinds:  physical–which involves the development of the material aspect of man; mental–which deals with the expansion and development of the human brain to its fullest potential, and spiritual–the process of acquiring and perfecting virtues and morals through closer communion with our Creator.  It was Theodore Roosevelt who said:  “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

 Equity is referred to in the Baha’i Writings as “. . . the most fundamental among human virtues. The evaluation of all things must needs depend upon it. . . Observe equity in your judgment, ye men of understanding heart! He that is unjust in his judgment is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man’s station.”

Finally, an Example–the greatest influence of all upon society–must begin where learning begins, in the home. It must continue in the schools and become a conscientious factor in the daily lives of each and every individual in all of our dealings with one another from individual families to international World Families. With today’s ever-advancing science, technology, and sophisticated weaponry it is becoming uncommonly clear:  “The earth is but one country and all mankind its citizens.”  Subsequently, “The injury of one shall be considered the injury of all; the comfort of each, the comfort of all; the honor of one, the honor of all,” also states the Baha’i Writings. 

 Where then does the buck stop?  The buck stops where it starts, with each of us–parents, teachers, religious, political, fraternal, social, and civic leaders and followers alike–the buck stops HERE!