Blame has been a hot topic lately. From events local to my circle of friends to the presidential elections, everyone is talking about blame. Who’s fault isit when there is a problem? Where should the buck stop? To be honest, I’m not sure 100% of the time. But, I have a system that I have followed for years, and it has suited me well. Not only does this system have strong logical foundations, but it makes my life a million times easier. So, I thought that since it is so relevant to what is going on today, and that I might help others live better lives, I would share my blame philosophy with you all.
My blame policy is very simple. It goes like this. If somebody has a problem with blame that needs to be placed, then that blame should be placed on the person with the problem. It is an extremely rare case when the blame should be placed on someone other than the person with the problem. And in almost all cases when blame should not be placed on the person with the problem there are third parties who notice and point it out. The only ambiguous cases are when there are no third parties who can recognize one person giving another person trouble.
Let me try to explain it from a first person stance so you can understand how correct and beneficial this line of thinking can be. The first rule is that I blame all of my problems on myself. There are only two circumstances in which I do not blame my own problems on myself. The first is if people other than myself, independent of me, recognize and point out that someone other than me is causing my problem. The other is the very rare case when another person directly causes a problem for me that is not recognized by third parties. The reason this is great for me is multi-fold. First, I am accustomed to receiving blame. Most people can’t handle it when anything is their fault. They try to pass the buck at all costs. They are perfect and the world must change to fit them, who can do no wrong. I realize that everyone can do wrong, especially myself. So the best course of action for me is to take blame. By taking blame for my own problems I realize that, since my problems are my fault, they will only be fixed through my own actions. What happens very quickly is that I begin to act to correct my own problems. Any problem in life can be most easily corrected by the person who caused the problem. Based on the fact that I have very few unresolved problems in life, actually none come to mind, I can be sure that I am in fact the correct person to blame for my problems.
The second part is that I blame other peoples problems on themselves. If blaming myself for my own problems is correct, then the same is usually true for others. This allows me to not worry about other peoples problems if I do not want to. I can deflect blame if they try to pin it on me quite easily. The person who always blames their own problems on others has an even more difficult time when blame for external problems comes their way. Because they so strongly try to avoid the blame, people believe more strongly that the fault is theirs.What happens is that the blame is not placed correctly, so nobody acts to correct the issue. I, instead, appear to accept a great deal of blame that I correct. These are my own problems. And when blame incorrectly comes my way I can easily direct it to the correct location. To the person whose problem it is.And others will view it in a positive and correct light because of the amount of blame I accept. They think, “he would accept the blame if it was his fault even before we say anything, so it mustn’t be his fault.” Sort of a wolf crying variant.
I’ve mentioned it a couple times already, but let me fully explain the third parties issue. It is actually a very rare occurrence when one person causes a problem for another person. And the vast majority of cases in which this does happen, uninvolved individuals notice this and speak up. For a simple example.A bully beats up a nerd. People other than the bully and the nerd notice this happening. They also recognize the bully to be at fault. People other than the bully or the nerd independently witness and assess the situation, and they place blame correctly. Think about all the problems in the world in which blame can be placed. Uninvolved witnesses always place blame correctly. In the Iraq war, the people of the world who were not involved in any way nearly unanimously recognized the United States to be in the wrong. In a case of arson, everybody blames the arsonist. Who the arsonist is might require investigation, but nobody blames it on the president or the firemen or the police. They blame correctly,the symbolic arsonist character who has an unknown identity. When a hurricane strikes Florida people who have absolutely no involvement in the disaster do not blame mother nature. They recognize that whoever stayed there and got killed knew it was coming and it’s their own fault.
There are very very few cases in which one person causes a problem for another person and third parties do not notice. Two hermits would have to get into a feud over a wild berry bush for that to happen. However, it does indeed happen. And in these cases it is up to each involved individual to place blame among themselves. When I am in this situation I usually place blame on myself.The reason for this is that if it IS my fault I am now empowered to fix it. If I place blame on myself wrongly then I will soon find that I cannot easily fix the problem and that it was not my fault. At the absolute worst I am only correctly placing blame half the time in these situations.
All tolled this leaves me placing blame incorrectly an extremely small amount of the time. The only time blame is incorrectly is no greater than half of the times when another person causes a problem for me, or me for another, and third parties do not take notice. All of my problems are fixed by me. This leaves me to lead a life of very little worry. Everything that I have wrong I fix promptly because I desire to better myself as a person. As a result I have a great deal of time to help other people’s problems at my leisure. The only problem with this is that I sometimes appear as an asshole, on purpose mind you. Since I correctly blame all the problems of others on themselves they do not like it when I come to them voluntarily trying to help them solve those problems. It implies that their problems are their fault, which they do not want to accept.Usually what happens is people come to me looking for consolation and agreement that the blame is not their own. Instead I tell them exactly what they should do to fix their problem. The truth hurts. It still boggles me how people can have problems that they would rather blame on external forces than fix their problems and make a better life for themselves.
I tell fat people they are fat because they eat too much. I tell people who fail that it is their fault for not doing the work, not the teacher’s fault. I tell people who get fired it is their fault for doing a bad job, because if the boss really was a bad guy then other people in the department would have noticed and said something when you got fired. All of these things make me seem like an ass.But in reality I am simply placing blame correctly. And because I place blame correctly I am able to correct all my problems. Then I voluntarily help other people correct their own problems if I desire. I firmly believe that this is one of the underlying fundamental flaws in our society that is bringing us down.Because of the incorrect place of blame there are millions of problems that go unfixed that people suffer through on a day to day basis. If only people had more personal responsibility and took care of their own problems then a lot of the bigger problems in our world would vanish.
So next time you have a problem, blame it on yourself and fix it. Next time someone else has a problem blame it on them and help them fix it. And if oneperson gives another person trouble, be a good witness and recognize who istruly to blame. Maybe if we change our thinking on this low level we can makethe world a better place.