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Resist The Blame Game or Nothing Will Improve

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When we are angry (which is often), we need to release our tension. Typically, we do so by blaming someone. This may be cathartic (usually it isn't) but blaming never solves a real problem.

Some of our problems are NOT: the medical insurance industry; the candidate's campaign speech; or the procurers of Humvees for Iraq. Our problems are, respectively: people not getting medical care; words that do not lead to actions; and soldiers being killed.

Blaming fails to "cure" or even change anything for three reasons.

Blaming is seductive. It vents our anger and frustration at a specific target. HE: denied my medical care; said one thing but did another; did not equip the military Humvees properly. String him up! This may feel good but does it: Get us medical care? Match words with deeds? Protect our troops?

Blame is usually placed on the wrong person or group. The problem is the system, not the insurance agent. It feels good to blame a specific person with a name badge, pocket protector, and a squeaky voice, but the system is too vague and amorphous. Blaming "the system" does not satisfy us.

Blaming lets us off the hook: we fantasize that we actually did something. We identified a bad guy, punished him or them; and that solved the problem. Oh really?! When something is wrong, blaming does not make it right. Fixing the problem requires identifying the real cause (not the person), and changing the circumstances so the cause ceases to exist. If our troops were not in Iraq, the lack of armour on Humvees would be irrelevant. If you did not need insurance to get medical care in the first place, having insurance or not having it would make no difference.

We need to resist the siren call of Blame Someone or nothing will ever get better.