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Who Do We Blame?

“I want to blame somebody,” my buddy said during our morning reverie together. “I want to blame the corporate structure for the mess we’re in. And, If I really think beneath this blame, I am a part of it. I participate and benefit from it.”

And so do I. Even though I make personal efforts towards mitigation, I too, have benefited … as most of us have.

Whenever we drive on the road, step into a plane, or open a package from Amazon, we benefit … and we contribute to the problem of human civilization’s impact on our planet. I think we all understand this by now.

But, who should be the target of this blame? And does it even help to blame? What if we switch our thinking about this? What if we choose gratitude instead … to all those who came before us in order to provide what we now stand upon? What if we choose acceptance and appreciation, understanding that we are a result of everyone who has preceded us?

If I am grateful, instead of blaming, I can wrestle with my own confusion or just observe it. And if I become comfortable with my own confusion about my role, (in this case climate change), perhaps some clarity will emerge that provides impetus for a “next step.” This may ultimately result in a little more friendliness toward our earth, as well as kindness and gentleness to those who inhabit it, including myself.

When I was in my 20s, a teacher in my educational program had a favorite saying that rests in me still. This saying, “Blame is the name of a no-win game,” has traveled with me for many years. Its vigilance in me is always on the lookout for when I am ready to dive into that “blame pool.” Sometimes I stick my toe in it, maybe a leg. Occasionally I take a total dive into it before I realize that I could drown. Swimming to the shore I work on gaining my footing, when I realize that the “blame arrow” I shoot will only succeed in coming back to stick me.

Fully clothed in what we may call “ego,” blame puts us in the position of “I am right,” and another entity is in the wrong. We think it must be either/or. One is right, the other wrong. Maybe it is both or neither. Perspective or point of view is a big part of the judgment.

We choose how to evaluate a relationship that results in what we call a positive or negative outcome. If negative we can label that relationship as the one that was at fault,bor experience gratitude for the new information, or the new direction it may provide for us.

I find myself in the position of alternately wanting to blame and also wanting to explain how we arrived to this “climate crisis” to my children. After understanding how we “got here” we need to go beyond both in order to forge a path into the future … a path that includes personal decisions such as whether or not to have children. Also we may choose to revisit our ideas of how a political and corporate society could shift to becoming champions of the planet. Regardless of how we choose to proceed, blame only keeps us into our rigidity, helping nothing.

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