In all of our lives, there is a silent force at work. Every day, in almost every way, it distorts the truth and oddly, gives us pleasure in the process.
That force is the need to assign blame to others. To insist that they caused this or that, made us look bad, held us back, interfered with our would-be success, left us alone, prevented us from being alone, made our companies fail, drove us to bankruptcy, denied us of love, loved us too much. It goes on and on. The music of blame. The perpetual motion machine that saves us from fault, from sin, from responsibility.
From everything we don’t want to face in ourselves.
From the fact that what we pretend is black and white – I’m right, they’re wrong- is always grey. Worse than that:
It is always our fault. Mine. Yours. Not the other person’s. Not the competing firm. Not the SOB who beat us to market or landed the promotion we wanted. Just us. Naked us. If we accept this, if we forego the urge to affix blame elsewhere, we have to stand alone, suck it up and move on.
Imagine a day when no one blamed anyone for anything. What a joyous, cleansing dose of self-reliance that would be. The blame game just sucks us into the black hole of escapism that absolves us from actually facing up to and dealing with our own shortcomings.
And it gets so absurd. In the Palin/Biden debate, the two people seeking to be a heartbeat away from the nuclear codes, were assigning blame for global warming. Biden on mankind. Palin on the cycles of nature. If there is a threat from global warming, what the hell is the good of holding a Salem witch hunt to find the imaginary culprits.
Similarly, a paralyzed and completely immoral Congress is about to go on a rampage of “Don’t blame us” hearings on who caused the financial meltdown. Having someone to blame will feel so good because no one who actually caused the disaster will have to look in the mirror and admit, much less feel, responsibility. We all know life is lived in the grey area, but we revel in the fairy tale of black and white. When we fail, suddenly it all becomes so clear. They did it. It’s his fault. She made it happen.
It may feel good to engage in this fantasy, but it is a charade that keeps us locked in a pattern of limitations that stunts our intellectual and spiritual growth.
There is one way to change this and it is a difficult pill to swallow. Admit that no one else is at fault. It is our doing. And our responsibility, our opportunity, our freedom to make it right.
Frightening as this may be, there is no greater form of liberation.