By Les Linz
Many years ago (when I still had television service), Baptist Hospital East out of Louisville, Kentucky, had a fantastic commercial playing over the airwaves.
It consisted of (mostly) smiling babies and toddlers bouncing around to music and interacting with each other, and if I remember correctly, the tagline for the ad was “Baptist Hospital East: Feel Better.”
I liked the commercial so much, I wrote them about it, and they were nice enough to send me a DVD copy (sad to say I have since misplaced it).
Recently, I found myself reflecting on the advertisement in light of current events, and it got me thinking not only about what “babies” some adults are making of themselves, but how much better things could be if they started acting like the adults they purport to be instead.
Since some adults in the public arena insist on acting like babies, let’s look at some “baby” characteristics, starting from birth itself.
There is a wealth of information available in cyberspace concerning babies and their development. For purposes of this column, I will focus on major areas delineated to that end with special thanks to betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/child-development-1-newborn-to-three-months.
Once the child has left the womb, the “cord” is cut and the infant no longer has a direct relationship with the one that supplied it sustenance during the gestation period. Here’s a thought, politicians — once you get to the District of Columbia, cut your party’s cord — you work for the voters now — we’re your parents.
I’m sure it’s scary getting off of the bus or plane and realizing your party may no longer offer as much financial support as previously. Here’s a thought: If you want to stay employed in Washington for years to come, rest in earning the trust of your constituents, rather than resting on party laurels.
Newborns are learning all of the time. Don’t think you’ve arrived. Keep your eyes and ears open and be more alert to those who did (and did not) vote for you, rather than your party, the one whose agenda may be different from those it alleges to serve.
Social and emotional
Newborns take a special interest in the voice and face of the parent, and to quote the site, “a large part of our (baby’s) social behavior is based on how we ‘read’ other people’s faces.”
Politicians, look into the eyes of your constituents and fall in love with them, perhaps for the second time. Talk to us with our agenda in mind, not yours. Our agenda should be your agenda. If you don’t want us to turn away, if you don’t want rejection, wake up every day realizing you serve us the people and not the other way around.
I remember a time when a couple we know had just had their baby boy. It was a proud time for them. While gathered in a friend’s home, the baby began screaming, and the child was offered to me to hold. I took him into my arms and talked soothingly to him. You would have thought I was screaming at him about a forthcoming invasion.
I quickly turned him over to dad, who said the same things I did in the same soothing voice, except that he listened to the father. Why? Dad was familiar. Stranger was not. Politicians, kindly keep that in mind. Keep us familiar to you, and we won’t fuss.
Babies are thought to begin smiling between five to seven weeks after birth. Here’s an admonition, politicians: Not long after arriving in our nation’s capital, smile in reflection on us every day, rather than about whatever nonvoter agenda you may be persuaded to focus on instead.
Insecurity about your vocational future is understandable, but concentrate on how delighted your voters will be to put you back into office time and again, rather than wondering how your party will assist in that effort.
“Your baby is bombarded by external stimuli (shapes, sounds, colors) and can easily feel overwhelmed.”
Certainly there are all sorts of new responsibilities, challenges and more for political newbies. Keep your focus on us, and the trappings of Washington will grow strangely dim as we become the object of your tunnel vision.
Hearing and seeing
Here’s a reminder, politicians: Babies hear while they are yet in the womb. In the political sense, you have heard from us before we sent you to Washington. Hear us still now that you are there.
As for your sight, see the District of Columbia, yes, but see us your constituents as the “big picture.”
I have been known to share an illustration with people about God and their problems.
I take a small object and a large object. I tell the subject to call the smaller object their “problem.” I admonish them to label the larger one as God. Then I ask them which one is bigger. Once they get over trying to make sure they won’t succumb to a trick question, they answer correctly — God.
Then I ask them to put the smaller item (the problem) in front of their eyes and ask where “God” is. They will normally respond, “I can’t see him — just the problem.” There’s their answer.
In a similar way, politicians, you need to stay focused on us, the big picture, rather than the D.C. minutiae.
Using their bodies
After a while, some politicians still don’t have a “grasp” as they should, which causes some to say of them that they “suck” as expected.
Speech and language
After a time (seven to eight weeks), babies discover their “voice.” Politicians, we are your voice. Discover us. May anything you say or do “speak” of us and no one else. May any agenda other than ours be laryngitis to you.
Babies are known to produce a fair percentage of their own body weight in waste. When our politicians do likewise, it’s time for a “change,” and we need to change them, just as we would any diaper.
Remember Proverbs 22:  Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Les Linz of Seymour writes the “Humor: More or Les” column. For information about Linz, visit his amazon.com author page. Send comments to [email protected]