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For IPAD/IPOD users:

The saying “people hear what they want to hear” certainly applies to my commentary last week.

Last week I talked about parental responsibility.

Inspired by the tragic death of a two-year old boy whose biological father was football star Adrian Peterson, at least for the last two months Peterson knew him.

It’s a sad story all the way around and the more we learn the sadder it gets.

Sad because the child is dead due to bad decisions on the part of a number of adults in his life; sad because we continue to make excuses for the bad behavior of those adults; including his own mother and father.

It’s sad because some people think there’s an imaginary time period to be held before we tell the truth about how these adults failed this baby; a two year old is still a baby to me.

Sad because just by talking about it, by bringing awareness to the people who failed this baby; it exposes the wounds and defenses of many who are listening who may be absent or uninvolved parents.

Sad because it’s too personal for some people to hear. It hits to close to home, it hurts.

Sad that by exposing those individual and collective wounds; rather than become introspective; many choose to lash out, to attack the messenger and not the problem.

Life coach Tony Robbins has a very profound quote that reads: “Free yourself from the disease of making others wrong and you’ll free yourself from the disease of making yourself wrong.”

If you follow Robbins’ quote, you’ll have a lot more energy to create solutions instead of creating problems for you and for others.

I want this message to stick with you, so I’ll keep it simple.

By thinking about something or someone critically does not mean that one is being negative nor insensitive nor judgmental.

It simply means that you are using your intelligence.

Taking their or your experience and coming to a critical or logical conclusion or sometimes a logical answer.

It can mean that you are evolving past “Group Think”, where everyone thinks the same thing and thinks others in their group should think the same thing.

It means you are opening the door and your mind to diversity of thought.

People who are and have been discriminated against, especially minorities and women should welcome, encourage, even insist on diversity of thought. Not everyone thinks like you.

Diversity of thought led some white people to see the light when it came to slavery, Jim Crow and voting rights.

Minorities must insist on diversity of thought because it’s true freedom and the one main reason that we even have freedom now.

Therefore, we cannot set imaginary timelines and rules on when it’s proper to seek solutions for preventing children from dying because of negligent adults, negligent parents.

Adrian Peterson sought no such imaginary grace period himself; he kept right on playing football.

Some of the same loud voices who proclaim some sort of imaginary grace period for Adrian Peterson to mourn a child he didn’t know are some of the same voices who immediately yelled the loudest that we must do something about guns and violence as soon as tragedies like Newtown or Aurora happened.

They sought no grace period when 20 children were gunned down; so, whether we like it or not, uncomfortable or not, we must take responsibility for our own stuff.

Otherwise, we are just as responsible when the next child is lost.

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