Weekly Thought – April 4, 2023
Fred took responsibility for his decisions – he refused to point fingers. He firmly believed taking ownership is a key element of maturity. He shared the platform with Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled. He told Fred transference is now a national sin. This week we share a few of Fred’s thoughts about blaming someone else.
Not My Fault!
My young grandson was sitting on the floor, mumbling, when his mother walked by. She listened for a minute then asked, “Jeff, what are you doing?” “Practicing for when the girls blame me.” The blame game is learned early.
Many psychological theorists tell us all our problems are the responsibility of failed parentage. All of our weaknesses belong at the feet of our mothers and fathers – “not our fault.” The Chaplain at Yale once responded when a student told him his problems were the result of his parents, “How far back?” I wish I could think that well. If “our parents” are at fault, we can push the problem all the way back to Adam and Eve.
Harry Truman’s famous sign on his desk refuted the attitude of transference: “The Buck Stops Here.” Too many are being trained to expect another’s handling of our bad decisions. Government entitlements generate irresponsibility. In 1940 Benjamin Elijah Mays became President of Morehouse College. He defined “the Morehouse Man.” The core values are self-disciplines, self-confidence, self-confidence, and strength. He crafted the credo for the school: “Whatever you do in this hostile world, be the best.” Taking responsibility and becoming a man of character was the goal.
It is still a hostile world, and will always be, but the man or woman of purpose will refuse to pass the buck. Transferring responsibility or blame is a sign of immaturity. Healthy growth does not include this unhealthy habit. Whether it is relational, vocational, or even spiritual, we can transfer our problems to spouses, organizations, or even God. How often do we see TV commercials which encourage us to blame “the times, the society, the culture” for eating too much, working too hard, sleeping too little? The finger of Madison Avenue always points away from us.
I heard Mary Alice telling one of the children, “Remember, when you point your finger at somebody else there are four fingers pointing back at you!” She put it in language they could understand.
The man or woman of character accepts responsibility in every situation. It is a discipline for our nature fights against us. We have the capacity to create new habits and new automatic responses, but it takes time and hard work. It is worth it!
This week think about: 1) How readily do I accept responsibility for my decisions? 2) What can I do to help others mature? 3) When am I most tempted to play the blame game?
Words of Wisdom: “It is still a hostile world, and will always be, but the man or woman of purpose will refuse to pass the buck.”
Wisdom from the Word: “An honorable man makes honorable plans; his honorable character gives him security.” (Isaiah 32:8 NET Bible)