We are in need of a healthy dose of what I call Blame Retardant.
I find blame fascinating.
One of the earliest human stories we know of involves a classic blame triangle. The story is familiar and goes something like this:
Garden of Eden, don’t eat from the tree, they liked the apple, they picked the apple, they ate the apple, they hid, they felt shame and they kept secrets. Then they blamed the hell out of each other.
The man blamed the woman, the woman blamed the serpent and the serpent had no one else to blame.
Then the teenager arrived. He blamed everyone: his parents, the serpent, the ground, the tree and the Garden. Teenagers come prejammed with a program that tells them to load the barrels and blame others.
My kid is no different. Rather than blame Adam or Eve or all of Eden, I blame myself. I didn’t give birth to the kid, but I am partially responsible… I got my wife safely to the hospital so the whole debacle was a partnership.
Blame can be addictive. Scientists tell us that blame releases dopamine. When you are caught and you need relief, blame can give you an out. And weaving a story that feels even remotely like an escape releases a tiny dose of happy chemicals into your brain.
Over time, we have become a society of blame. Just look at our politics: Donald Trump blames Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and they blame The Donald. And we spend hours watching them blame each other.
I think that entertainment is the real purpose of politics.
Blame can be entertaining when performed by a doofus like Donald Trump. When I listen to one of his speeches all that I hear is: “Bla, bla, bla… Me.” Let me spell out what I hear BLA-ME = BLAME.
I can’t buy into the politics of blame just like I can’t stomach a teenager who only wants to blame his parents. Perhaps some Americans love Donald because he makes blame seem like an acceptable adult behavior?
Not in my books. Blame is just plain destructive.
Blame is about finding fault. It is a negative outlook on life that robs us of personal responsibility and the power to make choices that could improve our situation. Blame comes from the word blaspheme, which means to speak irreverently or to speak evil of.
No matter which way you twist it, blame will never get you to where you want to be. If our perspective, our parenting or our politics are perched on the hilltop of blame, blame will destroy whatever we create.
At the heart of our blame is dissatisfaction. Pointing fingers keeps our hands busy so that we don’t have to pick up a hammer or nails to improve things.
The politics of blame comes in all shapes: national politics, office politics and blaming our parents. No matter how we do it, blame is destructive. It is nothing more than a toxic swill of anger, twisted entertainment, addictive emotions and faultfinding.
I hope that one day my teenager will grow and stop blaming Adam, Eve, Eden, his sister or his mom and dad. Sad, but I don’t hold much hope that our politicians will grow up at all.
I’m a Canadian and even our politics is a smoke and mirrors blame-game. Contrary to some age-old misinformation, Canada is not full of igloos. But the one thing we do have is a bad dose of blame.
It really is up to the households of the world to save the next generation. We are all in need of a good dose of some Blame-retardant.
Keep it Real
Photo by a2gemma