Assigning Blame by Arnie Sherr
Human nature is a dramatically amazing condition. Its defenses are keen and its illusionary tactics are amazing. The act of transferring culpability is a defense mechanism. It is an altruistic attempt to save face and self-respect. It is the antithesis of owning-up.
I know a man in his mid forties whose life has been spattered by eight or nine non-violet felony convictions. He says he wants to correct his propensity for taking the low road rather than the high. He says religion and his newly intense belief in G-d is what not only spurns him forward, but gives him faith that he can prevail. He even levies himself to a kind of preacher at times trying to convince others of his beliefs as if to covert those who differ.
However, in recent days I’ve come to realize that his attachment to G-d is his way of transferring responsibility for his actions to another. He attributes everything to G-d’s Will as if all is spiritually directed and pre-determined. In other words, rather than taking responsibility for his past and present acts he conveniently assigns the weight of it all to the Almighty. He has even related a belief that his destiny, good or bad, is G-d’s work.
Having a lifetime of skills development including a keen sense of judgment, I am able to assess what of many complexities make others tick. At times these judgments are easily unveiled and at other times they vacillate to a highly probable assessment over longer periods. In this case, for a time I was actually fooled; thinking that his attachment to G-d was for him a genuine life changer. Only recently have I come to know the real criteria for his attachment; although I know he has not made this realization for himself. My conclusion is that this misguided and troubled man will never rehabilitate until he learns to whom the fault ultimately applies.
I tell the above to make a few important analogies…
Can you subscribe to the premise that within human perception, everything has a beginning; a start or the birth of? Because of this precept, arguments over man’s beginning become heated and sometimes incite emotions to violence. In that same vane, are not beginnings “causes”? I find little difference between an argument over how something becomes as to who is responsible for how it became. My point; whether you believe the spiritual representation of the beginning of man or the scientific, both can be attributed to G-d’s greatness and “creativity”; for it is written “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host.” (Isaiah 45:12)
Moreover, the argument (at least for me) is how and not by whom!
But, of the above my felonious friend has taken to assigning the fault for his decisions (good and bad), sins, and destiny to the Lord. The only fault I find with this subscription is that correcting and redirecting his life path can not happen until he takes responsibility. It is written (Genesis 1:-1), “In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth.” (Excerpt); it is also written (Genesis 1:27), So G-d created man in His own image, in the image of G-d He created him; male and female He created them. (Excerpt)
For me it matters not as much how as there seems to be no argument that whatever one believes about the beginning of man and the earth, “G-d is man’s and the earth’s Creator.”
I am not a biblical authoritarian, but I can recall no reference by G-d of himself that he is “perfect.” Moreover, if He created man and earth in His own image and man and earth as they are today, so very imperfect, I seriously question attestations of belief by others that G-d is indeed perfect. I hear no one tell that earth is perfect.
Why then would there be penalty and penance for sin? Why then would He have sent Moses to the mountain to retrieve His Ten Commandments? Why, why, why?
Of course, that which I have written above is meant not to incite a discussion or argument, but to make the point that we as G-d’s creation must, for the sake of mental and physical health and growth, refrain from casting clouds of responsibility from where they are truly housed.
We blame <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Washington for the economic woes of which we are trying to navigate. Is it not we that are to blame; that we did not better prepare to make better choices at polling places? Is it not we that are to blame for having succumbed to the temptation of spending more than is economically recommended? It is not we that followed our emotions rather than logic? It is not we who should be reexamining the past and deciding collectively the path for a better future. Is it not we who blame Washington, Wall Street, Banks, Healthcare, outsourcing, and the media for what we are experiencing when, in fact, it is we that are the root cause? We have become spoiled over the years; we’ve trusted our destinies to, not G-d, but to the judgment of the greedy, the misguided, the morally unfaithful, the legally unqualified, and the inappropriate powerful; the predominantly untruthful five hundred thirty-five. Ultimately, if “We the people” have lost homes and jobs and until we accept responsibilities for what is and make appropriate adjustments for what we wish is to come, then we shall have no one to blame but ourselves.
We can not Blame the Lord for what is happening except to suspect that rather than He make it rain for forty days and forty nights that He in is infinite wisdom has allowed us our indiscretions, creating a global meltdown telling us we must rethink, redirect, and clean-up our, His creations’, act.
Thursday, November 26, 2009 is Thanksgiving; a day set aside for giving thanks. How about while giving thanks for the good we have, no matter how tested; we move up the date for making resolutions for 2010. That on the 26th we promise to be more diligent in managing our finances, more diligent in investigating and making election choices, more diligent about cherishing relationships, more diligent about social and professional loyalty, more diligent about caring for our families and loved ones, more diligent about looking to ourselves for blame and solutions.
I choose not to blame G-d for my sins, but praise Him for giving me the ability to learn and attend to my imperfections; improving and growing as He in His infinite wisdom has been doing of Himself since the beginning of mankind in whichever way you believe He has created Us, the Heavens and the Earth.
G-d bless everyone and life itself; Happy Thanksgiving to all.