Blame, Guilt and Other Ne’er Do Well Techniques of Late

My two-year-old thinks everything is Jordan’s fault. Jordan is a little girl in her preschool class. Sure, Jordan probably did something naughty once at school. I know it couldn’t have been that bad, though, because I’ve seen Jordan and she’s eerily similar to the Linus character in Peanuts. It’s no exaggeration to tell you that every glimpse I’ve caught of this suspect two-year-old was with the right thumb lodged firmly in the mouth and the left hand clinging dearly to a blankie. Whatever it is she did, Elkin has taken it so seriously that now everything wrong in the world was caused by Jordan. It doesn’t matter what happens, Jordan is responsible. Sometimes nothing happens and Jordan is still involved. Like yesterday, my daughter took out the box of princess bandaids and covered her dress in them. She came in fake crying and told me Jordan hit her. Jordan also pushes, Jordan gets her dirty, Jordan breaks things and Jordan makes lots of messes. It’s all Jordan’s fault. If I didn’t tend to do the same thing I’d think she was a bit crazy.

I guess we all like to blame other people for everything. When I hear people complaining I think it’s because the act of complaining makes them feel better. Verbalizing all the ways it could or should have been seems to take the edge off the reality of things. It’s all someone else’s fault that things aren’t better. Now I see it happening in emails. All those guilt-inducing emails that urge you to send them out to others on penalty of being a less- than-decent person are the same thing as complaining. They talk about how bad everything is, from the government to the people, and urge you to complain about it to everyone you know (or at least ten people) as if it’s going to make a difference. I don’t think it’s going to make a difference. I think everyone thinks there’s something wrong with something but they just don’t agree on what that something is.

It’s tough to live in a democracy. It requires getting along. Which one of us is good at that? I guess we’re working on it, but it’s a life long learning process and it hasn’t been perfected by anyone I’ve met so far. Sure, there are a few who come close. There are a few angels walking amongst us who seem to have perfected the art of relationships. Either they naturally put the other first and feel instantly satisfied in doing so, or they begrudgingly put the other first and eventually feel satisfied in doing so. Either way, it’s tough to look at disappointment, take responsibility for it, and do as Dali suggests, examine and overcome. In fact, I think my two-year-old’s strategy is far from crazy, it’s practically the norm to blame an ordinary bystander in order to avoid any personal accountability. It’s the same strategy the whole world is using, just picture Julian Assange sucking his thumb carrying a blankie. Foreign and domestic governments along with the media will play my toddler. Done.

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