The Blame Game
UP ALL NIGHT? BLAME IT ON THE GENES. The
title of this news item really caught
eyes. Can't sleep? Blame it on your
- and your grandparents and your great-grandparents.
Scientists are searching for the gene
throws some people's body clock out
with the rest of the world. This is
researchers at the University of Utah
Obviously who am I to find fault in
prepared by experts?! But, really,
becoming a farce! It is going too far!
live in a day when psychology, psychiatry
and sociology are constantly trying
our accountability. It is always the
of others or of something else. Never
It is true that we are victims of many
in life and no one can tell just how
are we responsible for what we decide
do. But one fact remains valid. Somewhere
within the personal dynamics of the
or wrong we do, it is we who make a
We choose, we act, we are accountable,
are responsible. Not my father, not
not my bad childhood, not my genes,
compulsions. It is me!
Victimology Or Claiming Victim Status
Our modern world is very fond of passing
the buck. Evading responsibility has
an art. It all started long way back
Garden of Eden. When confronted with
Adam immediately pointed to Eve. And
quickly targeted the serpent!
Adam and Eve has set the pattern for
behavior. Of course we are careful
all the credit for our virtues and
But for our sins and faults.. we always
for someone to blame.
Have you ever overheard students discussing
the results of their exams. One says
got an A". The other sulks, "He
gave me an F"! One indicates,
was so bright to get maximum results";
the other retorts, "the teacher
not like me and failed me"! We
so well the part of the victim!
The cover of TIME Magazine had this
a couple of years ago : "Infidelity
: It may be in our genes"!! This
the reason behind adultery - I am psychically
disposed to betray my wife!!! Another
which is flaunted around so easily
parents never loved me. It is their
They made me do it. If you only knew
kind of family I was raised in, you
understand why I break my commitments
think of no one but myself!"
The excuses are really a mixed motley!
in traffic - road rage. Crime - environment
of poverty. Addictions - genes. An
who embezzled $2000.00 and lost it
night of gambling, proved successfully
the court that it was not his fault
was just a victim of 'compulsive gambling
syndrome'. He was reinstated!!!
Anything to justify the messes we do.
so unlucky in love!" said a woman
three unhappy marriages... "I'm
human" is another favorite defense-plea!
Or the problem is God, who made me
Or the devil who made me do it. Or
- all the accused in the Nuremburg
after World War II defended themselves
claiming "Hitler told me to do
Alan Dershowitz, one of OJ Simpson's
said about the trial, "Now you're
to see the defense brutally attacking
victims. By the end of this trial,
is going to have a kind thing to say
the two dead people!" The victims
the accused and the criminal becomes
The Lighter Burden
Although the blame game is a highly
game, it is a dreadfully injurious
Anthony M. Coniaris says in his book
Responsibly in an Age of Excuse",
others never heals, it always hurts.
builds relationships, it only breaks
It never unites, it always divides.
solves a problem, it only compounds
Jesus Christ is so adamant in helping
admit our faults and taking up our
just for this reason. Because this
us! In response to a query from his
who is to blame, Jesus says simply,
do you see the speck that is in your
eyes? Or how can you say to your brother,
let me take the speck out of your eyes,
there is a log in your own eye. You
first take the log out of your own
I am the one who have a serious eye
because I have a log in my eye. I am
problem. Not my genes. Not others.
are not dictators. We are not puppets.
ants carrying our genetic mandates!
is still room, I hope!, for moral choices.
Responsibility comes from two words
and able. To be responsible means that
am able to respond. I am able to act.
Malcolm X once said, "If you get
down to the ground by someone else,
not your fault. But if days and weeks
and you're still lying there, that
The first step in solving a problem
admit you have a problem! Then call
its proper name. We are not just victims.
We are sinners.
It is only when we accept responsibility
for ourselves that we take the first
to betterment. You cannot solve a problem
unless you take responsibility for
see it in the family. As soon as the
partner says, "I'm sorry, I was
there is no more misunderstanding.
The same thing happens in our relationship
with God. The moment the prodigal son
his fault, he was welcomed to a banquet.
Jesus came to set us free from the
burden of trying to justify ourselves.
blood cleanses sins, not excuses!
"We have put aside the light burden
of self accusation and put on ourselves
heavy burden of self justification"
says John The Dwarf, one of the Desert
This was David's greatness - his confession.
"I have sinned against you, only against
You, and have done what you consider evil."
Play more the confession-game and less the
blame game, the Church suggests!!
Who, me?! Yes, Lord, it's me, standing in
need of forgiveness!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright