On Blame

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Blame is easy.   Blame is the thing we look for when we don’t know what to do about something.   Who’s responsible for this, we ask.   And the answer is rarely, if ever, clear.   We can blame the virus for getting us stuck here.  We can blame China for spreading it across the world.   We can blame the current White House for their response.   Whatever it is…if you need someone to blame, you’ll find it.    

But ask yourself this question – What is a situation where posting blame made the situation better?   (I’ll wait)

Blame is counterproductive.   Blame is often a refusal to take responsibility for that which is yours, for the temporary relief of it being someone else’s fault.   Don’t do it.

From Tolstoy – “We often make judgments of other people.   We call one person kind, the other stupid, the third, evil, and the fourth clever.   We should not do so.   A man changes constantly; he flows like a river, and every new day he differed from what he was before.  He was stupid and became clever; he was evil and became kind at heart; and so on.  You cannot judge another person.   The moment you blame him, he becomes something different”.

Another of my favorite Habitudes is “Drivers and Passengers”.   Think about it this way.   When you went from the passenger seat to the drivers seat of the car, what went up exponentially?   That’s right…RESPONSIBILITY!   The passenger’s entire job in the car is to pass the time, make it more enjoyable (or not) and perhaps even curate the playlist.   The passenger can even BLAME the DRIVER for driving poorly.   But what about the Driver; responsible for everything.   If you take a wrong turn, your fault.   If you speed, your fault.   And most likely, if you crash the car, your fault.

In life – we are either drivers or passengers.   In every situation, this is true.   Blaming makes you a passenger.   Passenger-ing is easy!   But there’s one key point: when you’re a passenger you’re literally giving away responsibility.    I’m personally not comfortable with that.   In situations where we are tempted to use the phrase “It wasn’t my fault” say instead “What can I do to make this better?”

What am I, Patrick, responsible for right now?

-My job – doing the best I can with what we’re being asked to do.

-My family – staying safe, away from people, keeping my kids on task

-My own attitude toward situations and other people

-What I post on Social Media – is it helpful, kind, inspirational…or is it raking more muck?

My friends – we must stop playing the blame game and simply BE RESPONSIBLE.   Forgive yourself your wrongs and make steps to correct them.   As such, forgive others their wrongs and allow them to do the same.   Besides, if you want to correct your own failings, and let’s face it..there are many, you don’t have time to waste blaming other people and things.   

Another Tolstoy: “If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so.  You must improve the people.   And in order to improve the people, you must begin with one thing: become a better person yourself.

TODAY – be a DRIVER.   Take charge of what’s yours.   Do the right thing.   Do good because it’s good to do so.   Be kind because you want to be kind.   Don’t blame – there’s no time or space for that.