Maybe there’s no-one to blame for what just happened.
Maybe it’s an opportunity for feedback and mentoring and coaching, so all can learn together,
Maybe it’s all a consequence of being physical beings in a physical universe, requiring vulnerability on our part if we are to interact with the natural world, understand ourselves to be the individuals we are, live in time which we cannot control, and, appreciate that our short span comes with a sense of destiny – our opportunity to take a little of the weight of Earth from the shoulders of Atlas.*
Of course, sometimes it is our fault, and, rather than blaming someone or something else, we can use this as a learning experience and grow stronger. (At a point of burn out in my life, I chose not to blame anyone or anything, but take responsibility myself for what had happened, and, more importantly, what would happen; it’s been quite a journey since then.)
Brené Brown believes we have to counter the blame culture with one which normalises discomfort. I always carry with me, five elemental truths: life is hard, I am not as special as I think, my life is not about me, I am not in control, and I am going to die.
We live in a physical universe which is uncomfortable and unpredictable, whilst also being beautiful and sustaining. This universe, though, has offered us the opportunity to have our turn at life.
Those who give in to the uncomfortable and run for cover, lose. Those who blame others, never taking responsibility for the almost-incomprehensible opportunity they have been given, will lose.
‘The rule is simple: the person who fails the most will win.’**
Something happens when we recognise how we’ve been proffered an amazing opportunity to live and contribute something beautiful, and then, turning up, every day, imperfect, incomplete, and shocked-by-it-all as we are.
When you pass it on, you’re helping to create a non-blame culture.
(*These four dimensions of vulnerability are borrowed from John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes. And the reference to Atlas refers to Jeanette Winterson’s story of Atlas in Weight.)
**From Seth Godin’s It’s Your Turn.)