“Bad Table! Bad Table!”

Crying Baby

Image taken from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net / Created by Phaitoon

Have you ever seen a little child walk around without watching where they’re going and bump into a table?  It happens a lot, children need to learn everything… even watching where they’re going.  Perfectly normal part of growing up, right?  Usually bumps like this are greeted with wails and tears from the child, mostly out of embarassment than out of actual pain.

I don’t know if this is a purely Filipino habit but it drives me nuts to see adults who react to this normal childhood accident by repeatedly slapping the table or wall and saying, in a loud voice, “Bad Table! Bad Table!” to stop the child’s tears.

I can’t understand why adults would do that.  I know it’s the easy way to get the kid to stop crying but it makes absolutely no sense to me.

First, the table is an inanimate object.  It was there already even before the child started walking in that direction and there’s no way it can get out of the way.

Second, the child assumes the bump he or she took is not his fault.  It’s the table’s fault.

To me, this action teaches the child one thing: NOTHING is ever his or her fault.  It’s ALWAYS someone or something else’s fault.

The bump was supposed to teach the child an important lesson… Every Action has a Consequence.  If you don’t watch where you’re going, you walk into things and hurt yourself.  So next time, the child will learn to watch where they’re going.  Lesson learned.

It doesn’t make sense to me to derail that lesson just to get the child to stop crying.

This is true in life as an adult as it is as a child.   The lessons get harder and more complex but the basic theme is the same… Every Action has a Consequence.  It is usually (barring acts of nature or malicious and evil people) the case that what happens in our lives are a direct result of the decisions we make in our lives.  We can’t blame other people for our positions in life.  The faster we recognize that, the faster we’ll realize we can do something about changing the direction our lives are taking.

Just like a child who learns to avoid bumps by watching where they’re going, we can figure out the pitfalls along the way as we experience life — the good and the bad.  The mistakes we make are painful but we need to acknowledge the mistakes as ours before we can realize what NOT to do again or how to do things differently.

Otherwise, we’ll just keep going through life in blissful ignorance, assuming it’s the “table” that is at fault… and keep making the same mistakes over and over again because the “table” refuses to get out of our way.


One thought on ““Bad Table! Bad Table!”

  1. Very good insight, Mommy J. I like how you see it. I also avoid the “bad” whatever it is and tend to tell my son to look where he is going and to be careful. But how you see is really an eye-opener. So true that it passes the blame to someone/thing else rather than taking responsibility or accepting reality. Thanks. 🙂


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