Toddlers and Toys

Have you ever watched a group of toddlers playing with blocks? There often seems to be at least one or two that know how to stack a few blocks, perhaps to build things. Indeed, the simple ability to stack two, three, or more blocks atop each other reflects a certain level of development as a child grows up. But if you watch that group of toddlers for any length of time, what do the kids do who cannot yet master the ability to stack a few blocks? Some ignore the block-stacker’s success, but others go out of their way to knock down the blocks. Repeatedly, they destroy what they cannot build. Some may even attack the toddler who tries to stack blocks, trying to stop the attempts to create. We shake our head at their childishness, console the crying child, and life goes on.

You would think that people grow out of such childish behavior, but maybe not. Someone at work derails a project that they did not create. Protestors destroy someone’s home or business that they did not build. Woke critics engage in character assassination rather than engage with ideas or concepts that they cannot or will not understand. And politicians block policies and people who would serve the community (or nation) because their own words, deeds, and ideas come up short. We see self-interested behavior all around us, and it looks a lot like toddlers who knock down blocks and then turn to attack the kids who know how to build.

It may be hard to know how to respond to people whose bent is to silence and destroy, but I would urge you to build, to create, and to take a constructive approach whenever an opportunity arises. And if an opportunity does not arise, then find one or create one! The fact that you read this blog suggests that you already possess constructive skills: literacy, access to the internet, ability to learn (and even to consider ideas posed by someone else), and willingness to think critically. Don’t sell yourself short; you can use those skills and others for good.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

2 thoughts on “Toddlers and Toys

  1. Yes, I’ve observed the sort of interaction you describe. I sometimes think that many adults are pretty much the same as toddlers except that we’ve learned to hide our impulses better.


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