Blame


It seems to me that humans don’t like to take responsibility for their actions. The main reason that I can see for this is that people don’t want to suffer any negative repercussions or punishments from not successfully accomplishing a task given to them. We are so afraid of looking bad to our peers and superiors, or even subordinates, that we tend to look for others to place the blame on, whether rightfully or not.

When a person is able to admit that he has made a mistake, I have to respect him because that shows that honesty and integrity have been made more important than one’s selfish inner desire to find a scape goat. The ability to accept one’s consequences rather than scurry to find a way out of a mistake should be more admired in our society. It is something I find more and more rare. Every day it seems that some corporate big-shot is trying to cover a paper-trail so he doesn’t get indicted…

I recently read an article about the impact of doctors saying, “I’m sorry” to patients. By being upfront with the patients, and admitting guilt as it were by apologizing patients were less likely to prosecute, less malpractice suits were filed, and more money was saved rather than spent in legal battles. I was thinking about it, and thought back to my previous thoughts on taking responsibility for one’s actions and/or mistakes.

I was discussing this topic with my friend Joe Johnson who pointed out that Adam, when asked what he had done blamed the woman who had given it to him. Eve, when asked what she had done, blamed the wily serpent. When it came to the serpent, he said, in effect, that everyone else was doing it, so therefore it was ok. The inability to accept responsibility seems to be universal, and to have existed since the dawn of time.

In any event, I think the most admired people in our society haven’t been the ones pointing fingers, but the ones who have accepted responsibility for their actions, and who have endeavored to learn from their mistakes and become better people.

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