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Let’s play a game…

August 26, 2010

It’s a game everyone loves to play.

It’s a game everyone hates.

It’s such a fun game. Everyone’s played it before.

It’s a game that can cause friendships to melt away, marriages to end in divorce, family ties to shatter.

So why are we playing it? Why are we playing such a fun and dangerous game? Do you really wanna know what game this is?

Maybe if you would read faster you’d know! It’s not my fault that you don’t know yet!

Sound familiar?

The game we’re playing is the all-too familiar blame game. It’s never your fault, is it? It’s always your brother’s fault, the government’s fault, your friend’s fault, your spouse’s fault, your cat’s fault, your car’s fault, your boss’s fault… it’s always the fault of everyone in the world… except for yourself.

Right?

It’s natural for people to want to blame others for the consequences of their lives. It’s always easier to shove the blame onto someone else.

A small child asks her father why he left her mother. Her father answers, “well, your mother was a terrible person!” Not giving a single thought that perhaps he had his own flaws!

The following situation happened to me the other day, and I’m sure many of you guys can relate to this.

I was driving on the 80 (go figure) and about to merge to 99. This is probably one of the most terrible freeway junctions I’ve ever seen.

I wish I could draw it, but let’s just describe it. Lane 1 (on the way right) takes you to 99 ONLY. Lane 2 (to the left of Lane 1) will take you to 80 or 99, but thru traffic must merge left. Lane 3 will take you to 80, but you can continue on to 50 if you so wish. All the lanes to the left of lane 3 are for thru traffic to 50.

I was on lane 3. I needed to merge right onto lane 2. So, I turned my clicker on, and moseyed my way to lane 2.

Then I heard beeping!! And this Indy 500 impersonator with a car not worth even mentioning (I can tell you for sure it wasn’t a Ferrari, I can’t remember what kind of car it was) was zooming way past my speed (I was already at 70) was beeping me, and he merged to lane 1 just so he could cut me off.

So I was thinking, “well, if he’d hit me, it’d be his fault, but of course he’d blame me for not getting out of the way, or for getting into his way.”

And that’s too true. Sure, maybe I should have gotten out of his way… but he was going at least 90 mph and sort of just appeared out of nowhere. Why is it that normal drivers, when see a driver with his clicker on and merging, will slow down, maybe lane change for a little bit so no one gets hit, and then go back to the lane? No one honks, no one is hurt, and everyone gets to their destinations safe and sound?

Perhaps that also ties into another topic that I’ll save for another day: patience.

So anyway, as I was saying, people are too quick to pin the blame on other people. Remember that classic teenager response, “Mom, you just don’t understand!” Johnny, she probably understands you more than you do.

How does this tie into moving forward? Simple. As long as you continue blaming others for the outcome of your life, you will never go far.

Lemme say that again. As long as you continue blaming others for the consequences of your life, you will never go far.

Why? Because if you let other people take control of your life, other people who don’t really want you to succeed as much as you want yourself to succeed, you’re just going to be pushed around and stay at the same place. No matter how good of a friend you have, they won’t help you if you don’t want to help yourself.

So how do you take control of your life? Simple. Why’d you get up late this morning? Not because your mom didn’t wake you up or your alarm didn’t go off. It’s because you simply didn’t want to. Why did you do poorly on that test? Not because the test was hard or because the professor hates you. It’s because you simply didn’t try hard enough. Why did you get that speeding ticket? Not because that cop was stalking you. It’s because you were speeding (you’d be surprised how often I hear that speeding tickets were not the faults of the driver).

One more tidbit before I go off and write on my other blog.

Let me just ask you a trivia question. In court, when one is found guilty and given a life sentence to prison, he goes to prison, right? Well, what institution houses the largest population of guilty people? Answer: not prison!

Feel free to visit any prison (parental discretion advised, not for the faint of heart) and ask the inmate whether or not he is guilty. 90% of the time he will say no. “No, I didn’t do it! I was framed!” “No, I wasn’t myself!” “She started it!”

The inmate makes excuses as to why he is in prison. It’s not his fault he killed someone! Not his fault he robbed that bank! He’s innocent. Right?

Well the longer they wallow in self-pity over why they were put into jail, the longer they’ll be in jail. Sometimes prisons give out early parole for improved inmates. I’m not condoning this policy, but that’s just what happens. And usually it’s the ones who take responsibility for their past who are granted parole. And for the most part, the ones who assume full responsibility for their past actions are the very ones who are no longer a menace to society.

Funny how that works eh?

So how does this apply to you? You’re not an inmate. And if you are, you’re taking a great first step by reading my blog.

Well, it all just runs down to this quote: “You can’t take full control of your future (secularly speaking) until you take full responsibility of your past.” ~Chris Brady.

So stop playing the blame game. Sure it’s fun, but is it really worth risking your  potential just because you didn’t want to take the hit?

Til next time!

Rasheed

PS I was experimenting with bolding certain words in hopes it’ll be able to drive the message in better. Please comment and let me know if you like this style!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2010 9:01 am

    The bolded words help lol, unfortunately the blame game, in its novice stage, reaches its maximums in high school. However, at my age the blame game is also used to avoid wasting excess time. A small example would occur in band class. Simply playing a wrong note immediately perks up my teacher’s ears until he looks like peter pan on ecstasy. He stops the entire song and points at a specific instrumental group causing a major delay/whole in the song. This disrupts class time, so each one of us in the section takes turns saying yes it was me. Then we awkwardly smile at him until he begins the tune again. I agree with you that the blame game does start at a young age, but it can be used in an advantageous way also.

    • August 28, 2010 9:27 am

      Yeah, that’s true. Blaming people inherently isn’t bad. In court, everyone blames the defendant/plaintiff. The judge can’t blame himself if the defendant killed someone. He can, and sometimes should, blame himself if he convicts an innocent person.

      Sometimes it is someone’s fault. It’s not the conductor’s fault that the band plays incorrectly during rehearsal. It is his fault that the band played correctly during a concert though. Practice is for learning and improving, making mistakes is natural (topic of my next post). But for most other things like relationships and financial things, there’s no such thing as practice. Unless you’re a doctor or lawyer 😛

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