Thursday, 16 February 2017

The culture of blaming other people

seems to be endless. Oh yes, I am as guilty as the next person. It is always nice to think that someone else has caused the predicament in which I have found myself. 
I got myself into a small mess yesterday...nothing serious. It was soon sorted out and things were back to what passes for "normal" around here. Someone else asked about it and I said, "It was my fault." They looked rather startled so I explained. We actually laughed about it. That felt good.
But there are times when other people need to share the blame. There was the news story about the former Olympian getting arrested. He has mental health issues. He needs support and understanding. Yes, he still needs to take responsibility for his own actions if he can but perhaps others do too in those circumstances. I can imagine few things more lonely than spending hours and hours upon hours staring at the bottom of swimming pool as you push yourself to go faster and faster - forwards, backwards, forwards,  backwards. You win a race? Good. You lose a race? Shocking! You are the darling of the media one moment and ridiculed the next. I wonder how many people ever consider the pressure on such people?
I also remember my late friend R... saying to me, "Don't you ever take all the blame on yourself Cat. We are just as responsible."
We were talking about the way many Australians blame the "white" population for the state of the "indigenous" population. Yes, bad things were done. We both knew that. I still know it. But R.... insisted that it didn't have to go on being that way. Her family was not like that. Her husband had a steady, responsible job. Her two children went to school - and wouldn't have dared to skive off for a day. Her house was clean. She worked hard too. No, it wasn't easy. The family faced prejudice but they kept going. 
I know they were exceptional. I know there are barriers but they didn't blame other people. R...simply tried to find ways around instead. 
I have another problem coming up. In this case someone else did do the wrong thing. She isn't likely to acknowledge it. Blaming her isn't going to help. I need to look at my own reaction and work out how best to handle it. 
If I let myself by a "victim" by blaming another person, even if they should take on some of the responsibility, I am not going to be able to move on.
"Victimology" is interesting but it isn't helpful.

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