Cleaning Up Someone Else’s Mistake

under_construction

They are paving the street in front of our house, a complete restructure, not simply a patch. Yesterday a construction worker hit a water pipe, resulting in a major mess that lasted most of the day. The water people couldn’t find a valve to shut off the main because none nearby had been opened in at least 40 years. They finally went several blocks away before they could turn off the main and fix the broken pipe which merrily spewed water all day, flooding the street.

For a while there was a blame game about who caused the problem. Had the line been marked in the wrong place? Was the worker careless? But after a time, it didn’t matter at all. There was a mess and all hands were on deck to fix it. The construction crew and the water department worked all day until the line was repaired and work could resume. Police diverted the traffic all day. All the men(and they were all men) worked and joked and took care of things.

It reminds me of the current debate about the Middle East. Whose fault was it? Who should have done what? We need to stop blaming each other and figure out how to work together to repair the damage we caused.

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