Blame.

Life doesn’t always go as well as we hope it does. Often, just when things are going smoothly, something will happen to muck it all up. It happens. That’s life. What do we do when things don’t go right, though? Often, we look for the reason it happened, and just as often, we fail to look at ourselves.

How often do you hear people blame some outside force for what happens in their lives? There are small things, like blaming the train or bus for your lateness to work; or blaming the dog for eating your homework. Those are small everyday things, and they generally get put into the category of Excuses. The thing with these is that everybody knows they are excuses. Oh, the train was late? You should’ve caught an earlier one. Your car broke down? Maybe you should’ve maintained it better. People don’t pander to these things.

Why, then, don’t more encompassing things get relegated to the Excuses bin? A common one I hear, often used by awful people about why they’re awful, is their upbringing. People without a father growing up are supposed to be given a hall pass to be lower achievers? Apparently, lacking a father suddenly makes you go out and commit crimes or engage in otherwise illicit behavior. Why is the crime rate higher among people raised by single mothers? Should we lay the blame on women?

Of course not. We’re smarter than that. To whom, then, shall the blame fall? A common one is society, or The System. The system is designed to keep people down, they say. It’s especially designed to keep down those of certain racial backgrounds.

I grew up in that system. Moreover, I grew up in the same household as someone who constantly blames the system. Both of us had no father figure. We had the same mother, who was single and went to work. Both of us had the same level of opportunity. He chose gang life and crime. I, while often invited to take part, did not. He’s been in and out of jail multiple times, and I, despite times of extreme hardship, and opportunity to commit crime, have not.

Now, I’m not saying I’m perfect. I have anger issues. I used to punch holes in the walls of my home every day. Thing is, I could have blamed a number of outside forces and not helped the problem. I could have blamed…

The System.

Lack of a father figure.

A negative home environment.

Bigotry.

Rich people.

Bullies.

My depression.

My anxiety disorder.

Poverty.

Instead, I paid attention to my triggers, and instead of trying to rid my life of them, I developed resistance to them. I rarely punch walls anymore, or anything, for that matter.

It might sound a little absurd, but most personal problems can be handled that way. It simply takes a little maturity and introspection. Oh, and patience. Tons of patience.

Maybe a little bit of personal responsibility, too.

It’s easy to talk about solutions to problems. It’s far easier to blame something or someone for them. How often did you hear people blame Obama for their financial woes? How often do you hear people blame Trump for random thugs committing violent acts in the name of freedom? How often do you hear people blame every current president for the country getting worse?

Not a single one of them has a real solution though.

Maybe if they worried about themselves instead of everything they can blame, they’d find a solution to their own problems real quick.

Making a better you takes work, and it takes knowing that the current you is not the best one. Aren’t you worth the work?

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