Friday, July 19, 2019

Y-Speak: Blame no one

BLAME is not a nice word. The word “blame” usually causes an instant negative emotion.

The word shows negative thoughts in the person who blames, and causes ugly feelings in the person who is blamed. A person who blames is “pointing a finger” at a person who they think has done something wrong.

A person who is blamed might feel such emotions as guilt, shame, anger, fear, or defensiveness. Because blame is such a negative concept, rarely does anything good come out of the use of blame.

Because we are all human, we are all destined to make many mistakes, and to sometimes do things we know is not right. Each mistake has a cause that we can sometimes identify, and sometimes not. To make mistakes is not justification for blame. Other approaches are much more productive than blame, and avoid the negative effects of blame. For example, constructive criticism is a positive way to turn a mistake or misdeed into a productive learning experience. We can politely suggest to a person how they might improve their performance or behavior, and avoid blame.

To avoid the use of blame does not mean that people should not be held accountable for their errors or misdeeds. Many persons feel that their errors or misdeeds are because they are a victim of circumstances. To be sure, all of us are sometimes victims of circumstances. But most of the time, our errors and misdeeds are not the result of being a victim of circumstance. The “victim of circumstance” concept is usually just an easy way to avoid accountability.

Persons who use the “victim of circumstances” argument say that we should never blame anyone. Certainly we should never blame anyone. Our reason to avoid the use of blame is to avoid a non-productive approach. Instead of blaming ourselves, family, friends, God, and others, much better to avoid “finger pointing.” Instead, offer supportive suggestions that improve our lives and the lives of those we are holding accountable for errors or misdeeds.

In summary, blame is a harmful word that shows disrespect. Equally non-productive is to assign the cause of errors and misdeeds to circumstance.

To allow a person to escape accountability for their actions, is to deprive that person from becoming empowered by learning from their experiences of mistakes and misdeeds. (Juvylen A. Centinales, UM intern)


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