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Blog: Choices And Blame

(originally written 6/28/11)

As reported in Reader’s Digest some years back, once upon a time a young couple feeling lustful decided to fornicate in the back of their car. No time for precaution, they said. At it they went.


Unbeknownst to them, a Blue Angels air show was set to begin directly above them. The noise from the very loud performance startled the guy so badly, he climaxed prematurely—not only when he didn’t intend, but also where. The end result: an unwanted pregnancy. Loverboy’s next course of action: sue the air show, of course.


Boy, is it less taxing on our minds and on our consciences to lay blame on others for our own poor choices—where it usually doesn’t belong. We all want to think we have our crap together, that any misfortune that befalls us would never have befallen us if not for outside forces. In many cases, that’s true. If you’ve worked hard to educate yourself, made a family and a home for yourself, and then one day lightning strikes a tree and destroys said family and home…you can at least say you had nothing to do with that; the gods simply wanted you suffering for unknown reasons.


Most of the time, though, we make conscious decisions that we know could prove harmful or hurtful to ourselves or someone we love. We tiptoe on the fine line between right and wrong every day. We choose to take actions that we know challenge our own well-established belief system. We sometimes ignore ethics.


We know that woman is married with a family. We know pursuing her could wreck that family. We do it anyway and justify it with, “If her husband was making her happy…” Fine. But: if you come across a fallen woman in the street, is it okay to snatch her purse? Making the choice to exacerbate a problem isn’t much better than causing it.


We maim and kill others who have wronged us in no way, and we use our childhood as an excuse. Well, my mom and uncle never used their poor upbringing as an excuse for any of their shortcomings even when they’ve had solid reason to. They never committed a crime in a combined 116 years of living, and they had THE WORST father in history. (I’d elaborate, but I’m not here to talk about the past.)


There comes a point in time when we are not children anymore and we shouldn’t allow any outside influence to affect our choices.


We can choose to do good deeds. We can choose to be happy, or at least positive. We can choose where we work, what we eat, where we go in our leisure time. But when our choices don’t work out we need to accept the blame for it—the same way we accept credit when they do. Not everything is somebody’s fault. It is not the nursing home’s fault that a 90-year old confusedly barreled her car through the building—as one person contended. It is not the hair salon’s fault that some lush stumbled through its’ window and cut herself severely. She made the conscious choice to get drunk.  Yet she’s suing the salon.


It isn’t the mall’s fault your heel lodged in the escalator. It isn’t the coach’s fault your kid didn’t make it to the major leagues. And it isn’t your kid’s fault you didn’t fulfill all your dreams. YOU had him. He didn’t have himself. Neither he (nor the Blue Angels) urged you to get busy in the back of a car with no protection whatsoever.  


If you chose to read this, I thank you. Don’t blame me if you didn’t like it, though…

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