Saturday, October 12, 2013

BLAME, what is it good for?

More than money, it can be said about blame that it is the root of all evil.  Blame is a shortcut to satisfy a psychological need to solve problems in our life.  When we perceive the solution to be out of our reach or just too difficult to think about, we are tempted to use blame as a sort of self deception so we can say to ourselves that we have done all we can and the rest is "their" fault.  Blame is often confused with, or disguised as, finding the cause of something.  The difference is that a cause will accompany a proposal of a solution or step toward a solution while blame is stated as the excuse not to find a solution or worse in order to imply a final solution to rid ourselves of the scapegoat.  It is so easy to place blame on a faceless group that it almost feels good to do it.

When blame is used in our personal lives it can lead to a life of inaction and feeling helpless in the face of all the things we blame for or own condition.  As children we are taught that we are not in control of certain things in our life. As adults many of us hang on to blame as a mechanism to avoid taking full responsibility for ourselves. Finding a way to forgive can help overcome the habit of using blame of people from our past.

Blame placed on collective groups of people has been proven through history to lead to death and destruction.  Germany blamed the Jews for much of their troubles before WWII.  In fact Jews are maybe history's most popular scapegoat and still used today.  But communist China today encourages it's people to blame Japan for their woes and Europe has been throwing blame around between countries forever.  Closer to home here in the US, the political zeitgeist is to blame the Republicans, Democrats, the Tea Party or just all of congress or the government in general.

To use a popular current example where blame is thrown around so much that no solution is in sight: In the US government partial shutdown congress is one big target but the blame does not stop with congress. Ted Cruz for example campaigned and was elected for the explicit purpose of doing everything he can to stop obamacare. His constituents (employers) sent him to Washington to stop what they consider an outright wrong and immoral law.  Congress is constitutional responsible for the budget because it is closest to the people.  So you can't blame Ted Cruz for not funding obamacare without blaming each and every one of his constituents.  Obama is constitutionally responsible for executing the laws and thus, in the absence of a specific budget, is responsible for what parts of the government are shut down.  But just like Ted Cruz, Obama was reelected after his signature trans-formative law was passed, so I'm sure he believes it to be a moral imperative that it be funded.  Also like Ted Cruz you cannot blame Obama without passing that blame directly to each and every voter that voted for him or did not exercise their right to vote.  It is obvious that no solution is found no matter where we place the blame.

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