This morning I was leafing through a magazine that was chronicling the fourteenth-century British outbreak of the great plague. Fully one-third of the population succumbed to this tragedy, and it is considered one of the most important, albeit tragic, episodes in the birth and growth of the British Empire. I have difficulty wrapping my head around the effects of such a death toll on a fledgling nation. At the time there were several theories postulated as to the reason for this horrible event. Apparently the Jews did it. If you don’t believe me just type in “jews blamed for…” in the Google search engine.
Apparently the Jew are responsible for most of the tragedies in our world, including both world wars, 9/11, and the Treaty of Versailles. I even read on You tube recently, while watching a documentary on the Holocaust, that the Jews are to blame for orchestrating this as well. Blaming the Jews for the Holocaust is beyond contemptible.
The Jews run the Illuminati, the Jews fund terrorism, they are trying to take over the world, they run Hollywood. I am fairly certain that they are responsible for the lady who was at the express line in Safeway with too many items earlier today. They probably stole the ring of Mordor too; and cause ice cream to melt in hot weather. The Jews undoubtedly invented AIDS and refused to fluoridate the water when I was a kid, giving me all those cavities. I am fairly certain that if I was of Jewish descent that I would be rather bitter.
Damn Jews, always melting my ice cream and providing quality daytime programming.
It is easy to use someone else to scapegoat my problems. It is convenient to believe that there is some sort of plot aimed at world domination, some evil power (Starbucks) bent on ruining my life. It is a terrible tragedy that one race of good people have been tortured, blamed and persecuted for apparently thousands of years. It is laughable that they are blamed for killing Jesus, who apparently was a Jew. At least it would be laughable if it hadn’t spurred on such hate. No one seems to be upset with the Romans for orchestrating the event and sanctioning the hit. Who can be mad at a culture that introduced us to olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano?
Damn Americans killed Lincoln.
I love blaming other people for my problems. Censuring others for my issues removes my responsibility and allows me to continue to live as a victim. Such an attitude excuses my failures and does not force me to confront my own inadequacies.
I am not seeking to demean those of us, and there have been many, who have been damaged by a parent, or a spouse, or an authority figure. Millions of people have been abused and I believe that if you read this blog with any regularity you will have to admit that I do not make light of such real pain. As I mentioned in a previous article, there is a significant difference, however, between being victimized and playing the victim. I have had to come to realize, often far too slowly, that no one else is responsible for my happiness. No one else is going to make me healthy. Sadly as well, no one else will be able to bring me real happiness or wholeness. Divorce courts are replete with persons who have tried to find completeness in someone else.
At the end of the day that is a lesson worth learning. It is up to me to build and maintain a life worth living. Looking to someone else to complete me never works in the long run. You do not need to be in a relationship to be whole. Sorry but it is true.
Unfortunately it is also true that it is up to each one of us to work through our pains and move forward. Blaming other people for my life may feel cathartic but it will not help me find happiness.
If you don’t like this article blame my parents. Or the government.
The Freemasons made me do it.
“A benchmark of emotional management and responsibility is the realization that our past can no longer be blamed for our actions in the present.“
Doc Childe and Howard Martin
Every day I work with people who are victims, real or imagined. They grew up in a bad home, someone has rejected them, the white man has dragged them down, people have taken advantage of them, they have been abused, raped, abandoned, the list is endless. There is no shortage of people to blame.
Usually the client or person I am talking to has legitimate issues. They are dealing with things that most people can barely imagine. They are trying, the best they know how, to find some anchor in a life that has been beyond their control. Many patients I have spoken with have gone through horror stories and are endeavouring to move forward. They are the reason I get up in the morning and go to work excited. They are my heroes.
Others are looking for something to pin their pain on. They cannot see any personal responsibility, they will not own their own complicity. They sit and we talk and it is always someone else’s fault. Often they have legitimate complaints but they wear their victimization like a crown and filter everything through with a pre-disposed diagnosis. This week I met with a young man who told me that the reason he could not pass in school was because generations ago people oppressed him. I reminded him that he was not in fact alive a couple hundred years ago and though he has had to suffer historic abuse and that has undoubtedly profoundly affected his life, perhaps the reasons he is failing in school have more to do with the fact that he is skipping and spending his considerable income on crack. He called me a bigot.
I come from generations of alcoholics and the pragmatically poor. My dad was an orphan whose father fell from a skyscraper during his last week of work before going to a new job. His mother died when he was 12. He completed grade 9 in school. He had no social safety net, no social worker looking out for him, no strong family to provide for him, no one to blame. So he didn’t.
Years later my father would stand before the Governor General of Canada and receive the military equivalent of the Order of Canada, our highest civilian honor. He had, in fact, finally finished his high school equivalency in his forties. He had worked his butt off to make something of a shunted life. He is my son’s hero. Wednesday he will be our guest blogger.
Every now and again I will have occasion to feel sorry for myself. Maybe things aren’t going smoothly or my friends have nicer houses or boats. Sometimes I wish I had a family with money and a house on a lake. But then I remember how fortunate I am to come from a heritage that simply would not give up.
As i sit here writing this it just hit me, I have never heard my dad complain about his lot in life. Ever.
“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”
J. Michael Straczynski