What “Ring around the rosie” taught me as an adult…


There are many things that I am grateful to my dad for. One of them is that he is a man of his word.  One thing you can count on is that he would stand up for what he says.

Today’s post is about that very thing. It’s about how consistently we stand up for the things we say (or even sing).  Two glaring examples come to mind:

One,  are those things  so commonplace in our culture that we can go along with them, without giving much thought to whether they are even positive to do. For example, ‘Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down”.    Now how familiar is this children’s rhyme that we sing to our children, right?   We’re so used to this familiar rhyme,  but, do you even know what that rhyme is about?

It’s about the Black Plague that occurred in Europe during the 1660’s where over 100 million people died!   100 million!     During that time, in desperation and ignorance, people were led to believe that breathing in the aroma of flowers would have medicinal value. It was also believed that ingesting ashes would induce coughing- spewing out whatever virus or germs that were causing this dreaded disease.  Unfortunately, in the act of coughing, the disease was actually spread.

So, take a step back and consider how odd it is that we play and sing songs about an event so terrible.  But, do we even think about things like that? I know I don’t.

My point is that our culture has become relatively thought-less. I’m not speaking about doing or not doing nice things for others. I’m referring to really giving more thought to the things we do and question if they are really positive things for us to do and beneficial to our society.  It’s about our willingness and ability to  having thoughtful discussions with others where we can come and reason together, apart from partisan politics, pent-up racial frustrations, and secular/religious put offs.

* the second example that comes to mind is when I partake in mindless singing at church where I sing, ” I surrender all”, or “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back”, or “I’m giving you everything”, etc.  Really—am I doing those things?

I don’t think I need to go to in-depth on this point.  Who am I really singing to and what meaning is there when I can so easily sing “I’m giving God everything”, but in truth, I’m not even considering the issue of “what am I giving Him?”, or “what am I holding back from Him?”  I’m just going through the motions.

Am I making too much out of this? Is this point really such a big deal?  Humm.  I wonder what God thinks when He hears people singing, “I’m giving you everything, I’m living only for you….blah, blah, blah?     It’s not that those aren’t great words, but how consistently and thoughtfully am I carrying out those words?  I can almost picture God saying, “really, have you looked in the mirror lately?”

So, what’s the bottom line to a post like this?  Its to encourage you and I to be more mindful of the words that come out of our mouths. Sometimes it might be just more honest not to say much, or anything at all.

Three immediate benefits come to mind if we would be more thoughtful in questioning what we are saying:

  1. is that it will cause others to be more careful in what they choose to say
  2. is that we will gain confidence in our judgements when we know we can are true to what we say
  3. others will gain confidence in us and will know when we say something, we believe it (just like with my dad)

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