Notebook

Blame

To say, ‘I did it, it’s my fault’, requires a great deal of maturity. It presupposes readiness to take responsibility, and that is hard at a time when so many influences push us in the opposite direction, nurturing a litigious mentality that always looks to charge what goes wrong to someone else’s account. Brené Brown expounds the dynamics of blaming in this smart little video, lasting no more than three minutes. It is a help to self-examination. Brown remarks that blame is simply a discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability. Accountability is by definition a vulnerable process. Blaming meanwhile is lodged in anger. It shuts us off from others instead of opening us to them. And so it is one of the chief reasons why ‘we miss our opportunities for empathy’.