Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Day of Internal Reports on Boat Things

I just saw a news link on Facebook. Today, an internal report was released on the Christmas Island boat disaster of December.  

Did the border and control people do what they were supposed to do?

The report says yes.

I think it's funny (weird) that this report came out the same day as the Israeli Flotilla thing came out.   Israel did their own report on whether or not their soldier people used too much violence and force.   Israel says they acted okay.

It seems a bit meaningless to do a report on your OWN actions. 

It kind of reminds me of those classes in which the teacher asks kids to grade themselves.  Does that really work?  Can you access your own behavior fairly?

On the other hand, there is SO much baggage in both of these issues, maybe a bit more so with the Israeli-Palestinian thing.  Can we trust anyone to have an objective opinion?

It reminds me of an extended family. 

Let's say my family is all together at the lake house.  Darcy says something mean to Jack.  Jack gets angry, and hits her.  This is typical of what happens.   Then what usually happens is I get frustrated with Jack for hitting, but I also get mad at Darcy for deliberately pushing his buttons.  Fights between the children sometimes escalate to fights between the adults.  Sometimes I feel Darcy's parents put too much blame on Jack, and not enough on Darcy.  And I think they feel the same way about us.   However, we don't ALWAYS pick the sides of our children.  Sometimes I believe Jack is much more to blame, and I'll scold him very sternly.  

Now if a huge incident happened, and we had to figure out who was to blame....could we trust the individual families of the extended family to give a fair judgment?  Could I fairly judge Jack as being right or wrong in the situation? Is it likely that I'd overlook his misdeeds because he is my beloved child? 

What if someone else was to judge?   Let's say someone outside the parties in question.   Maybe my parents (the grandparents).  Perhaps my OTHER sister or her husband.  We could have our cousins decide....or our friends.  We could call them impartial. It might be more fair. But what if they're NOT impartial?  What if they secretly prefer one child over another?  Or maybe they like/love the kids equally, but they differ from one of us in terms of emotional/behavior philosophies?

For example, the impartial adult might be one who follows the motto Stick and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.  For them the child who hits would be 100% to blame, because the one who said mean words did nothing wrong.  Or someone else might believe you need to think of consequences before you act. If you don't want to get pinched, watch what you say.  

I don't know.  In the end, I think you almost have to use both. When there's a family drama....or a world drama.....those on the perimeter of the conflict will have their judgments. They'll scold. They might even punish.  But then you have an internal review as well.

I think it's VERY rare that we come to a decision that's similar to Israel's or the Christmas Island thing.  I can't think of a time where we've had Jack completely free of blame.   It usually ends up being a matter of us telling him we understand why he's annoyed or hurt. We sympathize with his anger. But he needs to learn how to be in control. It's not okay to hit, blah, blah, blah.    

As far as more global issues, I'm not sure the internal reports will matter that much.   People will have their opinions, and no report is going to change that.

It's kind of like the vaccine thing. So a British medical journal now says that the autism study was a hoax.  Do they REALLY imagine that news flash is going to change the minds of many parents? 

We have our opinions.  We soak in the evidence that validates our opinion. We dismiss and ignore that which contradicts our opinions.