The scourge of blame

A plane is shot down with hundreds of lives lost, thousands more forever changed. Boys playing on the beach are bombed into unrecognizability. The finger-pointing begins, warships are on alert. Tremendous energy is used up in an age-old human practice: Blame.

Blame’s favorite sibling is, of course, being right. As in: I am so sure of the way I see the world–no matter that I’m bound by Reactive Brain, or that I myself are miserable–is absolutely accurate. So now I get to kill you. Or at least, threaten you mightily, keep you terrified. To the point, of course, that the only answer for you is to imagine killing me to protect yourself.

Today, as I grieve with my Dutch friend in my kitchen, I’m grieving the loss of lives. I’m grieving the human knee-jerk reaction to protect through attack. And, overall, my heart feels heavy as I stare into  the scourge at the base of it all, the human willingness to stay asleep, stay in reaction and fear and anger and shaming. To continue our collective suffering through being right.

Today, I let go of blame and I choose wonder. I choose unpredictability. I step into the space of all that I don’t know, and all the ways I can claim responsibility.

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