Why is blaming someone for something wrong, or faulting them for an obvious mistake such a big aspect of our culture? Do we feel better when we can show we weren’t to blame, or at the very least we can still be trusted to complete what is asked of us? Maybe we’re so willing to exert a level of blame on another, because we’re so fearful of our own situations. At any rate, blame is the poison used by the deceiver to rip apart bonds and trust and effectively try and snuff out love. As men, we are leaders and in as much as anyone can expect, we should never lead with blame, but with compassion. Within the context of our compassion, we can show fault, but the blamed party will receive a greater understanding of what should be done, and how they could have been better.
Why does our culture look to blame before anything else? In short, it’s easier to put the blame on anyone but ourselves and avert anyone’s eyes from us and possibly seeing what we may do wrong. There are also those folks who don’t think they do anything wrong, from the priggish to the arrogant, we’re surrounded by people who fail to acknowledge even the most basic of human understanding, we all make a lot of mistakes. We can even look at mistakes on a linear scale from “whoops, I messed up” to “what were you thinking, you nut?”. At the end of the day, the key word here is mistake, an action or a judgment which is wrong, or in some cases perceived as wrong.
As a father, I seem my children make mistakes every day, as they pertain to life, friends, or anything related to our home. I know they are kids, and don’t possess the full knowledge and understanding needed to prevent mistakes from occurring, but at the same rate, they need the mistakes to prevent them for future situations. This of course is the impetus for the saying, “no substitute for experience”, it might stand to reason the most effective leader in any organization is one who made many mistakes and learned from them. I’ve heard for many years, the difference between us and the saints is, they are willing to admit they are sinners and we are still trying to blame someone else.
As far as blame goes, I’m talking about the real blame, the type which goes deeper than the action. Look at the deplorable effects, on a long-term basis, we see from any type of violence in the home. We see a young man mistreated in the home, and then in some small way he begins to make one poor decision after another, and then as it should be, he is blamed for his decisions. Though the real question is on a deeper level, what culpability do the parents have as it is regarded in the man’s decision. Obviously, I would never espouse legal action against a bad parent, but I do direct some blame. I hear, jokingly, people say, “you need a license for a vehicle, but you don’t need one to raise a kid”, very true, but within a natural understanding, having a license, would be a ludicrous paradigm to live in just because we make mistakes. Why don’t we hold people to a deeper understanding of truth as it relates to blame? Often, when trying to complete my daily work, I’m informed in whatever manner suits my supervisor, I’ve made an error and this isn’t to be tolerated. This adds so much stress to my life, because, in many of the instances where error is found, it has more to do with constant revisions or poor communication than any dereliction of duty and understanding on my part. Regardless of whatever I’m under, I’m still expected to deliver a superb result, without errors and fast. I have full gray patches in my beard than ever before, I look ten years older than I did when I started my job a few years ago. This blame game has stressed me to the point of breaking many times, but as my wife reminds me, “God never gives you more than you can handle!”, which is so true. In prayer, I focus on what is most important, and if at any point they are willing to terminate my services, I’ve excepted I will still do my best work, and this more a function of their need to blame than my incompetence or lack thereof. Just so I am clear, I do make mistakes, and when I do, I am the first to admit them and give an action plan to fix. By my estimation, this is what is required of all of us, be willing to admit fault and be willing to fix the broken left in our proverbial wake.
Now, I’m telling you this, because I’m positive, based on my conversations with other men in similar positions, we all have unbelievable stress in our lives. I know for me, I want to provide a good life for my wife and our children. I want to afford a lifestyle which we live in, and I want to have an ability to give help where help is needed. If you are anything like me, I think you might be the same way, and within the context of a responsible understanding, the stress of the situation is exacerbated by influences, such as an angry or adversarial boss. Maybe they micro-manage your every detail and in some way passively or otherwise aggressively cut you down to size, so a period of self-doubt sets in and now not only are you stressed about the job and responsibilities on your plate. Now, you have no confidence in your work or what you deliver, you even prevent sending your work away, just so you can check it for the fifth time. Invariably, even after checking it, another issue is found, but this time it has nothing to do with you. Now, you’re angry, now they are nit-picking your every move, further eroding an already barren and slowly fading self-esteem. I know of people who, because of such a low self-esteem, attack every person they view as a professional threat, and within this they gain reputations of difficulty and disgust among fellow professionals. Those, who look down upon these people, aren’t doing so because they are mired in hate, but simply because they don’t understand and don’t want to try, we must try!
Ok, so how do we handle this? How do we handle this ugly representation of life, as it confronts us every work week, all day? You do spend more time with these stresses than you do your own family, and when there is stress at work, there is bound to be stress at home. I will confess, there are many days, when I’m asked to do things by my children, and I push them off, because I’m tired or I need to decompress (so-to-speak). The regret for me is there, and I’m sure there are many other husbands and fathers who find themselves in very similar situations. The way we handle it is acknowledgement of truth, knowing who we are, and what our mission in life is. The first for me, is knowing God is there, and moving forward every day, understanding my problems are shared. The second, is realizing, I am one third of a covenant and one half of a married relationship. This relationship with my wife is so important to keep our communication in check. She fills in the cracked and broken gaps which I possess, and I lovingly mention the gaps she might possibly have (experience husband here, lots of mistakes by the way). We complete one another. The third and maybe the hardest to follow is, this all goes away in the end. Everything goes away, you can’t keep any of this and worrying about it, because times may get hard, is ridiculous. You could be in the best situation possible, and still have rough times, don’t worry about what may happen and be joyful in the moment now. I talk to a co-worker from time-to-time, and he was shocked I have a five-year rule. It goes a little like this, if you are ever in a stressful situation, and faced with a difficult decision, you ask yourself, “is the decision I make now, going to be relevant in five years?”. Now, I admit this isn’t my brain child, but has worked for me every time I’ve utilized it. The example I was given, which helped me in my perspective was, suppose you must go to a meeting at the last minute or attend a choir performance by your youngest child. In five years, will you remember what the meeting was at all about, or will you have a lasting memory of your child singing “Silent Night”? I always go with the family. Which brings me to my rule of three as well, God first always, family second, and handling one’s business third. When we approach life in this manner, and with this competence we can be blamed all day long for mistakes or perceived failures. The facet of the matter will be though, if we handle our business, we are able to keep a competent understanding of accomplishment. When I work with anyone, they understand this, and it keeps our work life simpler. When I fail to make this an important part of my function, I begin to have stress, and competency begins to fall to the wayside.
As God is always there for me, I know worrying about stuff is fruitless, when I’ve grown tired of complaining and worry, I’m at the point of beginning and must move forward, God helps me with this, and as a matter of understanding, gives me purpose to push through my problems. When we blame another for mistakes happening in the light of work or personal life, we are not looking to God for understanding and compassion, we are looking to have power and exert it over another. As Fathers, and husbands, we are charged with full understanding and comprehension of our situations. This will mean, sometimes, taking longer to make decisions which are wise, and loving. God will help you and me with this, we need to believe it possible, and the work will be laid before us.
My wife, is my physical and spiritual companion, she sets me straight, and reminds me there is unconditional love. Within her love for me, there is a purpose to give every ounce of energy I have in to a relationship which transcends whatever situation we’re in and moves us to a higher plane in communion with God for this purpose. In layman’s terms, she snaps me out of my inner turmoil and keeps me balanced. I hope I can do the same for her, but she is a confidently strong woman who is willing to face just about anything which falls in her path. I love her dearly for this quality!
The final point I can make is one of objective understanding, as it relates to a bigger picture of who we are and what we’re meant to do. Does anything you’ve done today or yesterday provide the ability to have a closer, more loving relationship with the Trinity? In your daily activities, have you pushed these supernatural efficacies to the wayside, and created your own reality? If so, don’t be too alarmed. In our world today, we are expected to do everything, for less pay, less appreciation, and more expectation. We are bound to a model of success, which in its entirety is bound for failure. So, I’m not suggesting, we don’t try, but change the landscape. Change your paradigm, or at least the perception of how things are coming at you. Know, none of the material arguments, and stresses related to work can be taken with us when we go to meet our Heavenly Father. Know, there were people who needed your compassion today, and your love, and because you were worried about how you’re going to pay a bill if you got fired, you recognize someone is in a worse off place than yourself. I always tell my son, “there will always be someone, quicker, faster, and smarter than you, but those are still no reasons to not give it your all”. This is what we must do, be proud of the man you are, and of what you’ve accomplished, if you give God the Glory, and recognize, people will blame us and put us into places we otherwise would choose not to be in. If you can find your joy, in God, then none of the blame or stress matters. Not the money, prestige, power, or fame. None of it, you can’t take it with, so leave everything for God, and move towards the light of love.
So, was it your fault? Maybe, maybe not, but acknowledging true fault is the first step to your own sainthood, and the first step in a deeper, more meaningful love with God. A person’s blame of you may be coming from a place of deep pain for them, and with our consideration and compassion, as a witness, they may also be able to let go of whatever hurt causes them to lash out at everyone else. My wife indicated one time or another, we might just be the only person thinking about them, and our prayers will make a difference.
I hope anything I’ve written here, will provide an affirmation of what you already knew deep down, or help to continue your growth in God. I am energized by anyone and everyone who seeks God, but at the same point in time, I want the best for absolutely everyone. Those who do us harm, need as much praying and love as anyone else. Their blaming of us, for something we carry no blame, may just be the implied cry for help you needed to hear. May God bless you and your family!!!
God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!