Sometime before Christmas, "Asa" joined our household. Asa embodies all that is good in a 3 year old's world. Asa shares. She picks up. She takes naps. She is a good friend. She comes over to make brownies - and thank goodness, she has always cleaned up her mess as I've never seen the evidence.
And a day or two later, another friend joined our imaginary mix. "Oswal" (no d, as in Lee Harvey) personifies the naughtiness we have. He hits. He pushes. He says bad words and makes a huge mess. He calls people names and is not a bad friend. In fact, he has yet to be allowed to grace our home with his presence.
Asa and Oswal are my daughter's way, I suppose, of sorting out right and wrong in this world. If it only was as simple as black and white.
Sometimes, I think we see living more responsibly as a black and white issue. We're good (fill in religious faith). Or we're not. We're green. Or we're not. We're great parents. Or we're not. We make a difference. Or we don't.
And when we take that right-or-wrong approach, we limit ourselves and set ourselves up for failure--or at least feeling that way.
So we can opt to take a positive approach. We can make attempts to make a difference in some small way in our community - whether it's reaching out to a neighbor or someone in need, reducing our consumption, adopting a stray pet, whatever. And we can accept we're making steps to a positive change -- think of it as a "pay it forward" mentality.
Or we can live in fear/anger/whatever, believe this world is going to hell in a handbasket, quit caring and live for ourselves alone.
Hmm... Personally, I'll take the first.