Admit it. Everyone has blamed something on somebody else before.
If you make a mistake? It's automatically the other person's fault. Forget to turn in a key report? It's your boss's fault for not reminding you about it. Your significant other breaks up with you? It's their fault, because they were too picky (or insert whatever reason here). Burn yourself while drinking hot chocolate? It's the restaurant's fault, because they didn't warn you it was going to be hot.
Many people in our society fail to take the blame for something they did. And it's frightening.
Last week, I was walking through a popular retail store in the area, and saw a young boy (maybe about 10 years old) not paying attention to where he was going and stumble into a store display. I then overheard the mother tell the boy that it was the store's fault for putting the display there. It was on an endcap of an aisle, not protruding into any walkway. In other words, it was out of the way.
See, how we're supposed to be raised is, if we make a mistake, we admit it, and we need to teach our kids to do the same. We admit that we were wrong, and apologize to the other person.
I'm not an expert (Andy Sutton of the Edmonton Oilers would chastise me if I claimed to be one), but when you blame someone else for something that happened, it only makes you look foolish. Some of us are smart and can tell when you're lying through your teeth. It's really not that hard to tell.
Now, there are legitimate times when it actually is someone else's fault. But there's always something more you could have done, too. There's always something to be learned for the next time. It's just as important to say that next time, you could have done something this way to make everything flow better.
I think part of the reason we have gotten this way (blaming other people) is that we, as a country, are extremely self-centered. Many people are more about the "I" than the team; if it's not good for them, it's not good for anyone. But, especially in these times, it's important to work as a team. Nothing is going to get better when we're focused on "me, me, me." Even the Bible tells us to look out for the interests in others (Philippians 2:4). I know that many people tell us to make sure to look out for our own interests first. But part of looking out for our own interests is addressing our weaknesses, and that includes admitting that something is wrong.
Just try it today, or tomorrow, or whenever the next time something goes wrong. You'll feel better, and everyone around you will, too. And even though it's a small step, you're taking one step to making our society a better one.
Page 2 of 2 - Alix Kunkle is the News Editor of the Leesville Daily Leader. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.