pretending to be dead

“… he’s in the bedroom pretending to be dead.” was the declaration a 6 year old ‘Bekah announced to her parents when they inquired as to the whereabouts of her 3 year old brother, Duke. Kids say the darndest things. Of course, he emerged a few moments later, very alive, seeking a treat.

Not unexpectedly, there are a lot of us who pretend to be dead when we want to avoid certain uncomfortable situations; a drop-by at the office, unexpected relatives, a former boyfriend who wants to stay in touch, a boss coming down on you when you’ve screwed up, getting caught hedging on your tax return, being seen out with another woman.

Personal hide-outs & fantasies start to look quite appealing when we want to get out from under a potentially itchy predicament. Kids play at being dead all the time. The problem comes when this playing dead continues into adulthood. We don’t like what we see coming, so we hide, find our schedules suddenly over-booked, have another commitment, etc. In essence, we play dead; just for the sake of avoidance. Inevitably, however, there will come a day when we must face the Grim Reaper of personal accountability… in this life or the next.

So what can be done to avoid those special situations where we’d rather pretend to be dead?

  1. Prudent Transparency is a good place to start. Wisdom dictates our honesty at all times: caution guards our degree of openness and trust.
  2. Taking Responsibility is another initial posture we should practice. Most cover-ups and side-steps are eventually discovered. Don’t waste the energy.
  3. Placing Character before Compromise is also a good idea. There is nothing like a consistent trait of integrity that will encourage another person to criticize you with friendly impunity. Character builds both community and comradery, not to mention open lines of communication.
  4. Confession is good for the soul, it is said. It also expedites a return to sincere relationships. Clearing the air early-on always avoids further complication and hesitancy.
  5. NEVER pass the buck!

We have arrived at that stage in our cultural development where a man, a woman, of integrity is a rare commodity. Some even believe they can be a detriment to an organization. But in the long view this has not proven so. It is people who face their fears, or the consequences of their actions (or inaction), who lead us all into a more God-honoring, people-honoring world community.

Have a nice week,



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