View on Motivation

View on Motivation

Do You Play the “Blame Game?”

By Judi Moreo

Have you ever blamed someone for something they didn’t even know they had been a part of? For example, this morning, I dropped a huge bottle of windshield de-icer on my toe. It hurt like the devil. And just who would be doing anything with windshield de-icer in 119 degree weather anyway?

Well, it’s a long story. I recently bought a home, and the people who moved out left a lot of things in the garage, including this bottle of windshield de-icer. Actually, who in Las Vegas owns de-icer? And why keep it year-round in the garage?

So, I decided there was no use for this practically full bottle, obviously, as no one had used any of it, and as I picked it up to throw it into the bin to take to the dump for proper disposal, the bottle decided to do a double backflip and land on my toe. It was really painful. I screamed so loud it brought the neighbors running. I was hopping around on one foot, yelling and carrying on and blaming the people who used to live here because they are the ones who left the de-icer. If they hadn’t left it, I wouldn’t have had to get rid of it. Yes, it was definitely their fault.

When you do things like this, what’s your first thought? Do you immediately play the game and blame someone else? Or, do you resign yourself to accepting responsibility for the mishap?

Not everyone plays the “blame game” the same. Some people can ALWAYS find someone to blame. Example, “If my mother hadn’t called when she did, I wouldn’t have forgotten the steak was on the grill and turned into charcoal.”

There are people who blame EVERYTHING on themselves. “I’m sorry you didn’t catch any fish. It’s all my fault. I should have taken you to a different fishing hole.”

Then there are the people who blame THINGS and CIRCUMSTANCES. “The sidewalk was icy. When Susan came to pick me up, I hurriedly ran out to the car and the ice made me slip and break my arm.” (Maybe this person should have had some de-icer!)

FATE is often to blame. “My business partner borrowed my car and as she was driving down the street, someone was cutting branches off his tree, and one of those branches (a really big one) was flung onto my car by fate and dented the roof of my car.”

Sometimes we blame our Higher Power because HE is punishing us or testing our faith. If we are really good at this game, we can find a way to place blame for at least three of these things at one time. I say three instead of four because people usually excuse themselves for the same negative actions that they blame others for doing.

Now my toe is all swollen up and a deep shade of purple. I am hoping I don’t lose my toenail. I am sure it was not the previous owners intention to hurt my toe, but morality tells us you should only hold someone to blame if the action causes harm to others. And of course, this proves once again that THEY were totally to blame due to their lack of responsibility in cleaning out the garage and taking their de-icer to wherever they moved and could use it. 

As I limp around attempting to look like I am walking normal, I am sure people are staring at me and saying, “There goes that poor old woman with the swollen toe. Perhaps she should put some ice on it!”