I received a book recently entitled The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit.
It is written by physician and researcher Dr. Neil Farber who is described on the back cover as "an international expert on blaming." I would think that would be a very narrow specialty but anyway, after skimming through the book, I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with the author.
The books discusses all of the ways in which we blame others such as group blaming where we blame men, women, Christians, Jews etc. and then there is blaming our parents, siblings, bosses etc. In a chapter on how to stop playing the blame game, the author suggests one "take responsibility" and "judge others favorably" and "make excuses for others." In a section called "Empathize--externalize for others," he states: "When someone does something that you don't like or something you feel negatively affects your life, externalize their behavior--come up with reasons, besides negative personality traits, why they would have acted in that way." Huh?
While I can respect the author's point, that blaming others can lead to a lack of personal responsibility, I think that not blaming others at all
can also lead to the same outcome. Why? Because not judging and assuming others have good intentions or motives can be naive and lead to a society where no one thinks they
are at fault. Yes, going too far and externalizing all blame has its problems but assigning no blame
teaches a society that there is no right and wrong in the world and that moral relativism rules the day. In my opinion, being adept at knowing what and who is to blame has its place, as does knowing when blaming is not a solution.
Labels: interesting books