“Blame Satisfies”

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We seem to learn early in life how to blame others for things we have done. It feels good. It shifts the consequences away from us and toward someone else. A young man once visited our home and when my father asked who left the back door open promptly replied, “I didn’t do it.” He fit right in. With four kids, there was always someone around to blame. In fact when the kids left home, my husband and I joked about having fewer places to assign blame.

But as adults, dealing with reality, we stop joking and learn to acknowledge when we have made a mistake. One of the key tenets in 12 step programs is  a “fearless moral inventory” of places we have erred. After admitting our wrongs to God and another person, the programs ask us to make amends to those harmed as long as to do so wouldn’t create more problems.

Why “fearless.” I think because we can face up to our shortcomings like adults, not children. Part of maturing, I think, is learning to take responsibility when it is ours to take. At the moment in the public sphere we are watching an explosion of blame. Adults all around seem unwilling to admit any faults of their own. Instead, they search ceaselessly around for the REAL culprit. Not limited to any political point of view, this approach keeps us avoiding dealing with real issues.

Because, at the end of the day, no matter who left the door open, someone needs to close it.

13 thoughts on ““Blame Satisfies”

  1. Speaking of blame, most politicians here blame others except themselves. And speaking of responsibility, I don’t think they have those too. It is quite alarming.

  2. I’m a simple machine. I just want solutions. If someone says ‘who did this or that?’, I just think as a sometime stage manager, “What needs to be done now to fix it?’ and do it or get it done.

        1. You are right. That is the main reason I am focusing on how we might talk to each other. As a word person, this feels like my contribution.

    1. I think we were brought up to accept responsibility. My parents would punish all of us if no one would admit something. So blaming really didn’t help.

  3. “No matter who left the door open, someone needs to close it!” If we all work on being the best person we can be and showing empathy for others forgetfulness, negligence, etc. then the world would be a better place!

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