Who do you blame for your problems?
“Blame doesn't empower you. It keeps you stuck in a place you don't want to be because you don't want to make the temporary, but painful decision, to be responsible for the outcome of your own life's happiness.”
― Shannon L. Alder
My sister was the perfect scapegoat; in her young innocence, she was an easy target. My callous nature disregarded her dimples and slight lisp and easily pawned off various sticky situations into her little hands. Although I have never been a good liar--anyone who has played poker with me can attest to this--I have a way of worming out of consequences. I would simply point out other’s faults and let the ball roll from there.
At some point in my growth, from a wee thing to a much larger one, I realized that I was not the only blame-shifter in this world. In fact, it is practically bursting with people who will go out of their way to escape the burden of responsibility. It’s a natural response to want to avoid the consequences of your actions but it’s this response that makes cowards of us all.
It usually starts young, a simple "she made me do it”. As a society, we have made it easier and easier to slip accountability onto someone else's shoulders: to the home owner who didn’t shovel, the responsibility of your broken leg, to the bar tender who over served you, the consequences of your drunk driving and to the employer who fired you, a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
I was once told by a police officer to never admit fault in a car crash, even if I clearly caused the accident. Although that attitude may negate certain repercussions, what does that reveal about the world that a simple “I take responsibility for that” or “Yes, I fucked up” is practically impossible to utter.
I watched a little of the presidential debate this weekend and, without getting into politics, want to point out the masterful way politicians shift blame. They are brilliant manipulators and skillfully slip the noose of accountability onto anyone or anything else.
I worked with a guy who would blame every wrong step on others and then take their brilliant ideas and claim them as his own. Since he was high up in the business, a blind eye was turned to all of his blunders. Although his actions got under my skin, I know that honest respect will never be his until he changes his approach to management. I pity him for this. If you truly want to be seen as a leader, accept responsibility with open arms. Do not shy away from it; be brave enough to grow from the difficult situations that will inevitably arise.
My challenge for you this week: next time you want to blame someone else for your problems, ask yourself: is it worth the cost?
Making nigiri is an art form some will spend their lives attempting to perfect. For being such a simple product, the assembly of it takes repetition and patience. For perfect nigiri, the rice must retain its shape while still remaining light and “melting in your mouth”. Alas, I am still finding that balance but will persevere onward.