Last Saturday I was in a village school with some friends. When all of us went to spend some time with the teachers and students, I left my bag in the office with a mobile phone in it, zipped inside a pocket. When we returned to the empty office after a couple of hours, my mobile phone was gone. The phone rang when called. This prompted a teacher to wander within the school compound, calling the number. In a few minutes, he discovered the phone ringing from the pocket of the school’s watchman. The phone was recovered and the watchman was dismissed from his job on the spot. This poor old man has no other income. The meagre amount he earned as watchman at school was not enough for his drinks at dusk before he slept as a guard of the school property. and was he sober when he flicked the phone? If only I was to carry my phone with me like others do, he would not have been lured to steal and would not have lost his job.
A year ago a drunk man on his motorcycle on the wrong side of the road hit Sathya’s car. His reasoning was “I had a couple of extra pegs followed by sumptuous meal in a party hosted by a friend. Please try to understand my situation and don’t blame me for denting your car. You could have been a little more observant and careful if you wanted to avoid this accident.” He was being nice to Sathya by not demanding compensation for the damages to his motor-cycle. The car had no reason to come on his way and spoil his evening.
There are rare cases where some high society people with teenager mindset have mowed down innocent people sleeping on pavements, by driving luxury SUVs over them. When they are having good time in the wee hours of the morning, why should the homeless be sleeping on the pavement and spoil the party?
After a good weekend, late night parties, rich food and movies, how can you expect me to be in the office on time on a Monday morning? Well, every Monday morning? How can I be productive and attentive on Monday of all the days? Have you not heard of Monday Blues? After four days, don’t you know it is TGIF? We need a work-life balance with a little more life and a little less work. What life is would be a philosophical question, which does not interest me. Don’t be autocratic and unkind.
On Thursdays students ask their teacher to postpone the test from Friday or Saturday to Monday with an argument that they would get more time to read. Then, if there is a cricket match on the TV, some event in the neighborhood, or a function at relatives’ place … Probability is very high for one of such unfortunate and convenient events over most weekends for most students. Then, of course, is it not the teacher’s fault to expect the children to be glued to the book over weekends? Why should the test papers be tough? What is the need for the tests when we have final examination? These unkind teachers! And for teachers, it can be the parents who do not care and the distracted children to blame.
A teenager wants a gadget to outdo the peers, needs more pocket-money, wants to go on a trip with his buddies, there is fun in the malls over weekends and at late nights on other days. He needs his bike without silencer, trendy clothes with brand stickers, latest model of the mobile phone and a life style matching with his age and assumed position in pecking order in friends’ circle. If the parents wanted me to be different, why did they give me such liberties when I was younger? Now I am used with ‘Yes’ for my demands and dislike ‘No’ from parents. It is privilege to say ‘No’ when I do not like to oblige, which mostly is the case. If only my parents would understand me, if only they see the luxuries and liberties enjoyed by others my age. It is all their fault.
The teachers, parents, bosses in the office … will never understand. What is the big fuss about punctuality? So long as the task is done, how does it matter what time I come and go? What is all this talk about quality and time over-runs? What is the sermon on the mount about accountability and such stuff? Who does not err? Whoever is on time? We learn only by our mistakes. Why don’t you understand?
It is the country, the government, bad economy, cut-throat competition, demanding clients, the education system, the politicians, the weather, lack of opportunities and scores of such external factors responsible for my situation, some actions and most of the inactions. Then, there are people who deserve blame for doing better than us, being more prosperous, with a better life-style, and being more committed. Blame the good for being good.
When we nurture a blaming habit and “not my fault; it is all his/her fault” becomes a second nature, difference between excuses and blames blurs. “If you blame others for your failures, do you credit them with your success?”
Some parents blame themselves and suffer for the faults of their children. Some teachers feel guilty when their students do not perform despite the best efforts of the teachers. Some managers think that they are ineffective when their people do poorly. It is all my fault. If only I had … They seek opportunities to blame themselves and enjoy the guilt.
Some people blame others for their own faults, avoiding responsibility and accountability. Some blame themselves for others’ faults, greedy to punish oneself.
Neither a blamer nor a blame-seeker be.
For, blaming others diminishes your courage
Blaming self brings ill-deserved distress.