Monday, March 17, 2014

It's Not My Fault

There's a young lady in our family who was having a run of bad luck around the time of a family gathering. Her continual cry was "it's not my f-a-u-l-t," dragging the last word out for dramatic effect. There was nothing serious going on, so fixing blame was not really an issue; but we did harass her by quoting her for many gatherings thereafter.
I have a young friend though, for whom everything seems to be not his fault. In the last few years nearly his entire life has gone downhill. Failed relationships, out of wedlock children, job issues, excessive alcohol consumption...all of it seems to be the fault of someone else. It's that woman, that man, that boss, that person, that set of circumstances....  Never is there any acknowledgement that he might have something to do with at least a little bit of the problem. Sadly, I think that attitude is going to destroy what's left of what was once a promising career. He's bright, talented, personable, and in denial.  He fails to see that the common denominator is himself.
When our kids were in school, we often heard about "that dumb teacher," and in fairness to the kids, a couple times the teacher was the primary component of the problem. However, when there were several "dumb teaches" at one time, we sat the kids down and made them look at it objectively: What is the common component here? It was usually the student, not the teacher. It took some doing, but the boys all faced up the issues, got through them and are now successful men.
My point here is that I am pained when folks fail to stand up to their own failings, deal with them and move on. Continually blaming others will never allow a person fix a problem. I have watched a near never-ending parade of promising lives being destroyed by men and women who fail to face up to the realities of their own choices. So often, facing up to a problem early on stops the problem in its tracks while ignoring it only makes it worse.  Penalty delayed is like interest on a loan, it only gets greater the longer it's unpaid.
So, identify the issue, deal with whatever your responsibility is and move on. You'll be better for it.

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