It’s the way of the world now that everyone talks about ‘blame’. I’ve mentioned before that blame removes power. When someone uses the word ‘blame’ for their situation they are saying that they are powerless. It’s someone else who has caused their problem and so it’s them that has to change. This is a topic that I will return to because it is so important, and in many ways I feel I am swimming against a surging tide.
Some time ago I wrote on a discussion forum that I helped bullied kids by teaching them resilience. They become immune from the taunts that bullies throw at them and I have a great deal of success in this. However, I was accused of ‘blaming the victim’ because when I work with the bullied kid they have to understand and change their own behaviour. Of course, I would like to work with the bullies but they don’t come in to see me.
Instead of seeing these situations in terms of ‘blame’ we should see them in terms of ‘responsibility’. The bully has to take responsibility for bullying (and all too often the bullied becomes the bully), and the bullied kid has to take responsibility for their situation.
In every case where people use the word ‘blame’ they are removing responsibility. This of course, has a double edge. Power requires responsibility and responsibility gives power. If you see the world in terms of blame, then you don’t have to do anything. If you see it in terms of responsibly then you always have to ask the question ‘what can I do, now to change the situation I’m in’. This requires a degree of self observation and the willingness to step outside of your own habit patterns, something that most people find too daunting to face up to themselves. And what’s more, they protest loudly when when it’s asked of others.