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There is a tendency to play what is called the blame game. The idea is that if you can blame someone, anyone other then yourself that you can divest yourself of the taint of failure. There is something dangerous in the common conception of failure, that it critically undermines a person forever, or at least that seems to be the myth.

Failure is an undeniable part of life, the world is not certain in any way of course, it comes with its ups and downs. In the modern world somehow, this fundamental truth, this duality of reality, has somehow been denied. The idea is now to associate yourself with all the ups, you play for credit undeserved, even if it is gained at the expense of the real achievements of another being unrecognized. There is somehow a belief that acting like this will bring you the greatest advantage, in both the long and the short term.

To associate yourself with the taint of failure in any form is a cardinal failure. Even if it is assuredly your own mistake and failure that was responsible. One must ensure that you are not responsible, or at least that if you can handle it, that you should shirk the blame on to someone else. Never should it be you attached to the problem which you are connected too.

It invariably something that I find myself doing, its the easy thing to do, but I’m trying to ensure that I cease to do. The problem is that it’s seductively easy to do. It requires a great strength of character I believe to be able to say that you are wrong, that you made a mistake. It’s also amazing that when you do this, people’s perceptions and reactions change radically. They feel the stress that they were labouring under is gone, and that they too can confess to what they did wrong in a situation, realize that things were too complicated to be reduced to a blame game, and move onwards with things. More then that they react better to you then they did before, they recognize the great strength that it displays.

Isn’t it odd therefore that we try to avoid behavior that we are in fact given the highest praise when in fact we do the behavior that is seemingly discouraged.


One Comment

    • Dom
    • Posted September 3, 2005 at 3:43 pm
    • Permalink

    From experience I know what you wrote in the second last paragraph is correct. I think I can restrain myself from shifting the blame 80-90% of the time, although it took a lot of thinking and effort to achieve that. I believe that having accepted your failure provides incentive to prevent repeating that same mistake. Perhaps equally important is not be discouraged from failures, which is partly why we are reclutant to accept failures in the first place. Together these two qualities allow us to learn from our mistakes and continue doing what we are doing.

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