4/52, folks! And, it’s the last Thursday in January. Whoop! Whoop! I know it is still early in the year but hey, I have to be happy for little successes and forge for a better future.
Who is ready for some history lessons?
Call: Who took the toffee from the teacher’s table?
Response: Zechariah(Zakaria) took the toffee from the teacher’s table.
Zechariah(Zakaria): Oh me?
All: Yes, you.
Zechariah(Zakaria): It isn’t me.
All: Then who?
Zechariah(Zakaria): Number 10 took the toffee from the teacher’s table.
Number 10: Oh me?
The cycle continues until the players tire.
Do you remember this game? Nostalgic. The wordings defer depending on the school you attended – Montessori or Syto. Let us agree to name it the blame game. Don’t you think this game taught us how to avoid blames even when we are at fault? Some folks do it with so much finesses that to others they are perfect and unable to make mistakes.
There is something about the Adam and Eve story I’d love for us to consider, irrespective of our beliefs. At a point in their married life, the couple was sacked out of the garden of Eden. Do you remember what led to this? There’s a school of thought that preaches that Eve forced Adam to eat the fruit. Some also say she used what she had (her delectable body) to get him to eat the fruit.
Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and GAVE also unto her husband with her; and HE DID EAT.” Emphasis mine.
Nowhere was it stated she force-fed him. Neither did the Bible state that she seduced him to eat the fruit. He could have stopped her, but what did he do? He ate it. The guy wanted to eat it so he did. Period.
Now, what point am I driving at? Adam had a mind of his own. Never was it documented that he was mentally unsound. Eve made a suggestion. Going along with it was a choice only Oga Adam could make. Confronted by the consequence of his actions, he said “The woman you gave me…”. The woman in the bid to shift the blame off her, threw the baton to the serpent. So, who was to blame? Adam, Eve, the serpent or God who created these creatures?
There are different variations to the blame game. The commonest one is where we blame others for every bad thing that happens to us. There are those who blame themselves for everything, even if they had nothing to do with that unfortunate outcome. They believe they have bad luck and hence attribute every misfortune to series of others before them, although there are people who fake modesty and only do so to fish for reassurance from others.
Why do people play the blame game?
It is easier to blame others than ourselves. Blame is an excellent defense mechanism. In order to draw attention away from our flaws, we tend to blame others. When we play the blame game, we become guiltless before the prying eyes of observers.
Blame is a tool we use when we’re in the attack mode. What better way is there to attack someone than blame them for things they may not have done? It is easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility. In fact, it requires a little effort to do so. Instead of identifying the role we played and accepting that we’re at fault.
You have a mind of your own. It is not linked to mine or your twin sibling’s. You choose to do something or not. That someone suggested does not make them culpable for your failures. They recommended, which you could have rejected. Grow up and own it.
Blame shifting is a temptation we should not yield to. Honestly, it is easy to fall for it. I have blamed others before. You have too. Today should be a turning point in our lives. Today, let us begin to accept our faults. Take ownership for our failures. Sit. Assess the damage and work towards making it better. Try to nurture a chronic sense of inner security to reduce incidents of blame shifting.
Always focus on learning. Rather than avoiding mistakes, create a culture where learning, relearning and unlearning is the top priority, not perfection. It will help to ensure that people feel free talk about and learn from their errors. Do not be too hard on yourself and others. We are all on the learning field. Learn.