The Blame Game

October 30, 2014

The most admirable people I’ve ever met aren’t the ones who run into burning buildings to save someone, or who fly halfway around the world to help out in a natural disaster, or who donate millions of dollars to feed the homeless, or even those who discover a cure for a deadly disease.

No, the most admirable people I’ve ever met are those who don’t blame others for their failures or who admit their culpability when they have made a mistake or done something wrong.

These aren’t the people who make the evening news but they are more newsworthy than many who do make the evening news because they are the ones who show the highest degree of integrity.

In a sense, it’s easier to run into a burning building to save someone because you are doing something for someone. There are many people who need to play the knight in shining armor who rides in to the rescue. There is just something about the valiant hero that sends writers to their keyboard to write bestselling novels about the white knight’s heroic deeds.

But, it’s much more difficult to turn the spotlight on your own shortcomings because it’s never easy to see yourself as you truly are, or see yourself as others see you. Seeing yourself as others see you is not the same thing as worrying about the opinions of others and changing yourself to make others like you. Seeing yourself as others see you is comparable to holding a magnifying glass up to the most vulnerable parts of yourself that you wish weren’t visible to the naked eye.

It’s interesting to watch the blame game in operation. Some people take no responsibility for their actions, always blaming someone else for everything and never apologizing when they are wrong. They are more concerned with looking like the one who is flawless than they are with seeing themselves as they truly are.

When I see someone who tries to appear flawless, I see a person who is fooling himself. No one is perfect, not even people who are perfectionists. We all make mistakes, we all do things that fall way below the standards of sainthood, but the most admirable people are the ones who admit their mistakes and learn from them.

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