blame game LIFE people RELATIONSHIP strength


A mother heard the family cat yowl in pain. She knew where to look – she looked for her son, Mike. “Stop pulling the cat’s tail, Michael!” she chided.

“I’m not pulling his tail,” the boy retorted. “I’m just standing on it. He’s doing the pulling.”

He, of course, is no different than any of us. Often, our first impulse is to blame someone or something else for problems. It’s the cat’s fault. Or the school’s fault. Or my parents’ fault.

I once heard a story of a 40-year-old woman who was jogging in a U. S. state park when she was attacked and killed by a mountain lion. Her family immediately filed suit against the state because of its “failure to manage the mountain lion population” and because it didn’t “react to reports of cougar activity in the area by posting warning signs.”

But an interesting thing happened. Her distraught husband felt it was wrong to blame the state or anyone else for his wife’s death, even though he stood to possibly win a small fortune. Against her family’s wishes, he dropped the law suit. “Barbara and I have always taken responsibility for our own actions,” he explained. “Barbara chose to run in the wild and, on a very long shot, she did not come back. This is not the fault of the state, and people should take responsibility for themselves.”

I would like to meet that man. He no doubt believes that the Blame Game is a no-win in the long run. He seems like a person who would rather spend time fixing what’s broken than fixing the blame for it on someone else.

This isn’t about law suits – it’s more about whether we are essentially victims of life or whether we are powerful and responsible people. An important step in gaining mastery over your life is to resist the urge to make something or someone else responsible. Like novelist J. K. Rowling said to graduating Harvard students, “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” Certainly background and circumstances have influenced who we are, but who is responsible for the person we become?

An important decision I made was to resist playing the Blame Game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.

Credits –  Steve Goodier –http://www.LifeSupportSystem.com

Image credit – http://bonniecribbs.com/blame-success/

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    June 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

    reminds me of a poem we recited in nursery class Mr Nobody

    Mr. Nobody
    I know a funny little man,
    As quiet as a mouse,
    Who does the mischief that is done
    In everybody’s house!
    There’s no one ever sees his face,
    And yet we all agree
    That every plate we break was cracked
    By Mr. Nobody.

    ’Tis he who always tears out books,
    Who leaves the door ajar,
    He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
    And scatters pins afar;
    That squeaking door will always squeak,
    For prithee, don’t you see,
    We leave the oiling to be done
    By Mr. Nobody.

    The finger marks upon the door
    By none of us are made;
    We never leave the blinds unclosed,
    To let the curtains fade.
    The ink we never spill; the boots
    That lying round you see
    Are not our boots,—they all belong
    To Mr. Nobody.

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