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Blame and the All-Or-Nothing

by Emily (follow)
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Blame assists in the realization or creation of an established order which can be violated but ought to be maintained, and therefore it helps us identify our locus of control.

Whether we commonly blame ourselves (internal locus of control) or someone else (external locus of control) can be an indication of where we see responsibility – within ourselves or within those around us.

sky and stone hand
Who is the author? Who is in control?

Often we try to downplay our own responsibility at all costs, even to ourselves. If, on a clear night, on a road just out of town, we were to enter an intersection without checking to see if it was clear, and in doing so just barely missed hitting a car travelling in the other direction, we might swear or press the horn, muttering about poor visibility, the condition of the road, or the poor judgement of the other driver.

We are scared of what might have happened, of what we should have foreseen, of knowing that we could be justifiably blamed for an accident, so in order to absolve ourselves of all guilt we quickly pass the blame to something – anything – but ourselves. There’s a level of safety in considering yourself inadequate, and a measure of ego in being the first to establish the blame outside of yourself.

No one holds absolute power over us – even those with a god are permitted to sin, but the way in which we usually blame implies that we live in a voodoo world in which we are puppets of those around us.

To explain: we’ve taken a sizeable leap from cause and effect to a generalised view; so-and-so is to blame for all of my problems. Are we scared of our own autonomy?

Is it fear or mere laziness that drives us to assign total fault in situations whereby this is not actually correct? By blaming others for everything we let ourselves down; we remove the opportunity to improve upon our own character or actions.

Realising that it may be a little bit our fault, and a little bit so-and-so’s fault, and a little bit pure chance or bad luck, is dissatisfying because it does not allow for a clear-cut solution. It’s uncomfortable to think we can control things; that we can and failed to; that we must take responsibility.

Blame indicates that something has gone wrong, which means we then experience a lack of fulfilment, and think “if only x had not happened, I would be so happy”.

We think that there is just one missing link to our living nirvana, and we are willing to fashion this link into anything – a distant parent, a strict teacher, the betrayal of a friend, an inefficient government.

The truth is we are all repressed by the conditions of our circumstance. There always will be something that we would like to change; but this is not because it needs to change, it is because we think it ought to. The problem lies not in what is around us but how we internalise and appropriate it.

What are you ‘waiting for’ that will ‘bring you happiness’? Is this realistic?

#all or nothing
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