Posted on December 5, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Health, Philosophy, Spirituality |

This post has been swimming in my brain for a few days—it wants out! When a word or feeling presents itself for my attention repeatedly, I know it’s time for me to give it a look. One of the best ways I know to explore these attention-getting topics is to write about them on this blog. It seems to do me a world of good. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t generally watch much news on television, and hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the Internet headlines, either. However I realize I’ve been semi-addicted to the news continually since August 8th, and, I’m ready to wean myself from it again. I usually get what I feel is the needed amount of news in 5-minute sound-bites on the radio; if something “major” has happened, I’ll hear that too, and can then choose to seek more information if I wish.

So, what happened on August 8th to change this? The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. After the Olympic Games, almost immediately, the U.S. Democratic Presidential Convention was broadcast on TV. Following on the heals of the Democratic came the Republican Convention. There was a major hurricane in the middle of it all.

After the conventions, the more-interesting-than-usual nature of some of the candidates made me follow the campaign as I’d never done in my life. By then, it was mid-October, and I was hooked. Daily viewings of my favorite online news websites would take up much time I’d previously spent reading books, or doing other things—like blogging. For some bloggers this has been great fodder, but these are things I don’t generally write about. I had to ask myself, “why? Why don’t I blog what I read in the news, since I focus so much energy upon it?”

I look back on the past several months; and realize that, in my addiction to the excitement of the news, I was also absorbing plenty of hyperbole. 24-hour news stations, by their nature, have to talk, talk, talk, about something. A lot of what they mention has to do with Blame. China was blamed for human rights violations, and, less seriously, for under-age gymnasts. The Democrats blamed the Republicans, and the Republicans blamed the Democrats…and the current administration, for the “state we find ourselves in.” The hurricane, well, it must have been someone’s fault, although the aftermath did not carry as much blame as its more famous predecessor.

Most recently, I have been distressed at the amount of blame being levied by many people, from many countries, regarding the attacks in Mumbai. Please understand, I feel great sadness and compassion for those who were hurt, and the families who mourn, wherever they were from. I understand initial anger, sadness, and grief. My own country experienced these things after September 11, 2001. Some of us humans feel best if we can, actually, assign blame for such actions. Again, let me make clear that I do believe that, when crimes are committed, and there is evidence, a fair trial, and conviction, that perpetrators have earned the right to serve their sentences.

I’m speaking here to individuals carrying anger and rage and the desire to blame long after its usefulness. It is my belief that this hurts the angry person much more than those to whom the anger is directed. Also, in our quest to assign blame, we often condemn an entire segment of a population. Most of us would not hold a small child living in, say, Pakistan, or Afghanistan, or Ireland responsible for terrorist attacks. Yet, these situations often escalate into wars in which that small child could easily become a casualty.

Speaking for myself, I have no enemies, and even if I did, it would not be possible to have a “country” as an enemy. How could that be? A country is an area of land, and every single one of them nurtures many fine people who, if I had the chance to know them, could become my friends.

I am a product of two previously warring nations. I am an American of part-German and part-Scottish extraction. It was before my time, but Germany and the UK have been bitter enemies a number of times; most notably and recently during World War II. To this day, my family members won’t tell or don’t know what my father’s relatives who remained in Germany did during the war; how they survived.

I’ve met my German relatives’ children and grandchildren; people just like me—except they speak German better than I do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Germany and the UK are friends now, but I know of people, alive today, who feel 63 years isn’t that long ago; who still don’t trust “those krauts” as they call Germans.

Life is transitory. People who believe in reincarnation and who have studied its teachings tell me I may come back, next time, in the guise of my current enemy. Our bodies are like suits of clothes. Eventually, they will wear out and we’ll go shopping for another suit. Most of us would discourage our children, if we have them, from disliking or being mad at someone because they didn’t like their outfit!

Finally, I’m reminded of a powerful scene from the film, Gandhi. In it, a distraught young father comes to Gandhi for advice. He is a Hindu and has just seen his little boy, “only so high” killed by Muslim soldiers. He wants to know how he can possibly deal with the grief of this. Gandhiji says to him (and forgive my paraphrasing; I’m relying on memory): “Find a boy, a Muslim boy about “so high” whose parents have been killed. Take him into your home to raise, but you must raise him as a Muslim.”

The distraught father isn’t sure he can act on this suggestion, and to be honest, I’m not sure I could either. It would be one thing to adopt an orphan; quite another to raise him in a faith in which I did not believe. Still, I remain moved by this, and I suspect it might have eased the father’s great burden.

I remind myself to forgive where I see blame in the world, including within myself. And I’m listening to less current-events news, and more music! ๐Ÿ˜€

Etymology of Blame:
Middle English, from Anglo-French blamer, blasmer, from Late Latin blasphemare to blaspheme, from Greek blasphฤ“mein
Date:ย  13th century
1: to find fault with : <the right to praise or blame a literary work>2 a: to hold responsible <they blame me for everything> b: to place responsibility for <blames it on me>

1525โ€“35; < LL blasphฤ“mus < Gk blรกsphฤ“mos defaming, speaking evil, equiv. to blรก(p)s(is) harm, evil (blab- harm + -sis cf. blรกptein to harm) + -phฤ“mos speaking, deriv. of phmฤ“ speech

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31 Responses to “Blame.”

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reading and listening to negative news makes your body and mind nagative too. I suggest you read ‘The gift of Fear’ by Gavin deBecker.

or visit

what a thought-provoking post. indeed, we live in a very critical world today, where everybody has a opinion and now with blogging that opinion can be expressed far more easily and reach many more people.

blaming, criticising, they’re one of the easiest things to do and that’s why people do it. oh, easy when they’re blaming or criticising somebody that is not them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ it’s also easier to throw the ‘responsibility’ of your anger to somebody else who ’causes’ you to be mad, rather than to take responsibility of your own emotions and express them positively (if possible).

i say all that, but i shamelessly admit to having done that before. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Great post, Muse! I’ve said this many times. How people blame entire Countries for the actions of some. I guess it makes for great headlines but it is not even logical. When certain Countries say another Country must stop terrorists before they will do this or that. Can you imagine? First off, if it was so easy, I am sure many would do so.

But think about it. Some might have said the Mob was a terror group. Were they ever stopped in the West? Or certain gangs. Or Motorcycle gangs? They are still out there freely doing business. But the same could be said of them. It would be like someone telling the Western world to stop them all before they will do this or that.

If there is a mob hit, the headline doesn’t say America attacked such and such, no they say mob hit. If a gang does something same thing. They name the gang.

It makes me think about when things happen in Countries, some blame the entire Country, but with others it is say…it is always someone or something linked to Al Qaeda. I guess it depends on the Country. I don’t know…

This is certainly an interesting topic and I hope it generates a lot of comments.

It really is sad how people can find it so easy to condemn and blame entire countries, rather than the small terror groups, involved w/ the terrorist attacks that’s happened in the recent years. Like with the India attack, I saw on TV where people were shouting that they wanted war w/ Pakistan. The worst part about wars is, it doesn’t just effect the ones involved in it, but there are tons and tons of completely innocent people that are effected. Families are torn apart, and women and children are killed unintentionally throughout wars. I can understand their anger, and the loss of 100+ lives is truely a tragedy, but to jump into a war where casualties could be in the thousands, makes no sense to me. I wish people would just not be so quick to act, especially when the actions can not be completely undone, yet create tensions that could last a lifetime.

Talking about tensions that last a lifetime. I do see that quite a bit at work. And it is real hatred. One time a guy showed up, as son as he started talking the owner kicked him out. You should have heard the conversation! I couldn’t believe it!

My Grandfather was in the War and he held animosity against certain people. It didn’t matter that they weren’t involved. It was all of them.

It is hard for me to understand how people can think that way.

My father was a veteran too and thinked that way too.

Hello, pochp, thanks for visiting! You are so right about how the negativity gets into our bodies and affects our health. It’s somewhat like eating poison! I appreciate the reminder of the book. I’d heard the author interviewed a few years ago, but didn’t read it then. I do remember thinking he had much wise counsel. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you sulz, and what a thoughtful response! I hadn’t thought of blogging and how it enables us to read so much more “opinion” than we had before. I totally agree with your second paragraph, and I think the last sentence there is a brilliant analysis! As for your very last sentence, oh, so have I. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s one of the reasons I wrote the post! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks, BD. You know, I hadn’t thought of this in relation to gangs and other sub-groups, but you are so right; they really are terrorists, too. I think the word “terrorist” is a relatively new term, created to describe rogue attackers, not necessarily affiliated with a government. There have always been gangs and thugs, and well-organized mobs, but, to me the label “terrorist” brings the blame to a whole new level. And I just can’t be mad at a country. It makes no sense. Nor do statements like “I just don’t like the________(fill in the blank) people.”

Well, I think you are right, Shane, and I appreciate your thoughts. To jump into a war without a lot of careful thought and evidence (and even then I’m not so sure) can result in a huge cost in time, funds, and most important, lives. Even our current US administration admits to that. Anger is, as you say, understandable. I just wish people would say “OK, I’ve been angry. Now how can I channel that in a positive way to help the situation?”

BD, it’s great you came back to comment on Shane’s great comment. I have heard people same the most remarkable things, too! For instance, I have some Jewish family members, and every now and then (fortunately not often) someone who doesn’t know this about me will make some disparaging comment about Jews. I believe they wouldn’t say this to me if they were aware of my family connections, but, why say it at all? Why assume I would feel as they do? And how could they know, for sure, I was not one of the people of which they spoke?

Oh, you too, pochp? I think war does change people. It’s sad that it often seems that way. On the other hand, I’ve heard people say that, after being stationed in other countries they cease thinking about people from those countries as “other”, because they’ve gotten to know them. This is something blogging can help with as well!

Very true. But what made my father so angry at the world was some accident that happened to me with a gun. And worse, the accidental gunman is my mother’s brother.

People are very quick to blame. I think in some circumstances, it’s a completely justified reaction to circumstances. What bothers me is when entire groups of people, not just specific individuals or organisations, are blamed for something. That just encourages prejudice.

I think all blame is negative though, because it encourages retaliatory action, which typically doesn’t solve anything.

Good post, Muse…Yep there is always someone to blame a way to get ride of the ”me culpa” off our shoulders…I am now reading books on reincarnation which I find quiet interesting and I would like to go for a regression, eventually… I believe that we choose suits that make us understand what it feels like to be in somebody else shoes and inevitably becoming more compassionate about all human characteristics…

I think everyone would do well to remember that the policies or actions of a Country, or terror groups does not mean the people living there are responsible. And they should not have to pay the price for the actions of others.

Yes, I agree, Muse…terrorist is something new that is thrown out there a lot more these days. Even soldiers fighting in a war are called terrorists instead of soldiers because they are on the opposite side. I guess it is a new way of drumming up support. I don’t know.

I hope I have not offended you in any way because of all my posts about Palestine. I know many people in Israel feel the same way I do and are working towards peace. Trying to help them rebuild. I hope you don’t think I blame the people of Israel or people of the Jewish faith. I don’t agree with actions or policies in place when it comes to the Palestinian people as a whole, having to suffer for others actions. If have offended you. I’m sorry. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Back again…you have my mind on over-time now… ๐Ÿ™‚
Not that my friendship requires someone to hold the same views I have either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

pochp, It’s understandable that when his child is threatened, your father may react with anger and fear. It’s sad he feels he must hold on to it though. That incident must have been quite disturbing and frightening for you!

Yes, it is very understandable, B0bby, when people have emotional initial reactions, whether fear, or anger, or blame. And I obviously agree with you about not wishing to hold entire groups of people responsible for the actions of a few. Excellent point you make about retaliatory behaviour. I once heard a sort of joke about the air raids in World War II. “The Germans use so much fuel, and time, and manpower to bomb the British, then the British use equal resources to bomb the Germans. Wouldn’t it be easier if the British bombed the British and the Germans bombed the Germans?” Not very funny, really, but it makes one see the absurdity of it all. ๐Ÿ˜•

Interesting you are reading about this, CV! I like to think as you say; that we are learning about each other, and that this learning adds to our compassion and understanding. Thank you for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, heck no, BD, I’m not offended in the least! In fact, when I read your comment I thought I was insensitive because I remembered later about your Palestinian posts. I in no way directed my comment about Jewish people towards you, specifically! It’s just that your comment triggered a memory of a particular incident connected with blame. I would in no way allow such a thing to impact our friendship, but isn’t it interesting how sometimes innocent ramblings can lead to misunderstandings? Personally, I don’t see how anyone can think the condition and situation of the Palestinian people is optimal. There are thugs on both sides of the issue. I’m neither pro- nor anti-Israel, I just think all beings have the right to quality of life. I am, in fact, encouraged by some of the dialogue that does go on; see this post from earlier this year about intercultural dialog and…music! ๐Ÿ˜€

Phew… ๐Ÿ™‚

Me again doing some bla, bla…I am like u i am not pro-nor anti-Israel either..I was in the Chretian Quarter in the Old-Jeruzalem in Easter 1991…I could felt pretty much the tension.. Isarelies insulting the Chretians while they were doing the Stations of the Cross.. I think it is the fanatic people who are doing the harms more than anything else..But, I really liked this country, I will cherish it all my life visiting it…

Oh! by the way.. I like ur snow-flake…

Oups! Christians I wanted to say..

See U my friend, Musy…

BD: ๐Ÿ˜€

CV: You are welcome to bla bla on my bla…g any time! I remember some of your pictures from the holy land. I have not been there, but I would love to go. Amazing when you think it is the seat of three major religions. There certainly are fanatics in all three of them (and with lots of other kinds of people) Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just learn to share, as we do here on our blogs? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, I like the snow as well. You can have it snow on your blog, too. WordPress has turned it on again this year until Jan. 9. Go to “Appearance” then “Extras” and check the “snow” box. I know you have real snow where you are; this might be the only snow I see this year! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, French spelling—Chretians? Good. I learned a new word in French! Always nice to see you, CV mรชme

I love the origin of words…

and I posted a picture of my snowy backyard if you want to see some more white stuff.

Hi Muse,

Actually, the right spelling for Christians in French is Chrรฉtiens…There 4 quarters setting in the Old-Jeruzalem, Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Armenian (Christian first nation)..

I am glad that u like to learn some French words..means that I am uselful for something..hihih!!

Where I live now (in the mountains)..I am buried in snow which is very inconvenient having a car but a paradise if u enjoy winter sports…

I blame the British Empire!

What ever anyone says, reply with “I blame the British Empire….!” Works every time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Me too, C.! Your snow is beautiful. How very nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for the correct spelling, CV, I’ll correct it in my list! I think you may be useful for one or two other things, ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh, that’s right, driving in snow is no fun. And it’s cold and wet…but so pretty! You make me want to see Jerusalem even more than I already did.

Well, you can do that if you like, Will. As for me, of course, I Blame Canada! ๐Ÿ˜€

HA HA HA! We should all blame Philippines!

Musy, u are blaming us helping u making very good movies..Well, they are coming here cause it is less expensive doing it on the Canuck land..I blame money..

I’d be happy to blame Philippines, pochp, but I couldn’t find a funny song about that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, I’m sorry, CV! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I don’t really blame Canada for anything, I love Canada! You have the most beautiful country and the nicest people. There was just that funny song, Blame Canada, and I was teasing Will, a little bit, since he lives there too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m happy to blame Germany, or Lithuania, or…the Philippines ๐Ÿ˜‰ if they have a song.

Just you wait for the song Muse. HA HA.

I received your 2 comments by email and approved it. On spacefem: maybe were soulmates! Sorry but you’re not the only one who finds herself being blocked from my site. Probably a hacker. THANKS sis.

It’s fun to get to know you and your blog. There may be hackers, but, I also meant that your user name, when you leave comments like the above one, doesn’t link to your blog. I get a WordPress notice asking if I want to start a new blog called “pohcp”. I notice the letters are out of order; you are pochp, right? You might want to check the link under Settings>Users>Your Profile>Contact info., and make sure the blog .url is correct, there. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks a lot Muse!

[…] “fault” or “blame”, as I think the concepts are irrelevant (I wrote a whole post about why I think so), by using a phrase that psychology and communication gurus want us to stop using […]

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