Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Blaming others

5 August 2015


When things do not go well, I blame myself first and last. I refuse to look for the blame elsewhere as I’m reluctant to hand “her/him/them” the power over my failure. Blaming yourself first is quite confrontational. Without my faith (in religion), it would be difficult to find consolation. My faith also brings me the hope and the dedication to resolve my failure. And the perseverance in never giving up trying to resolve. I sincerely wonder how one can even manage this without faith.

To date, three important things still do not go well in my life and I hold myself accountable and responsible for their lack of progress. Nevertheless, my August 3 blog (“the dark side”) made me realise again that expecting immediate results is putting too much pressure on myself. It took me quite long to acknowledge and appreciate that relevance and basically I had to change my own character, like a firmware update.

Blaming others is the usual – first – solution when one is no longer in denial. See my August 4 blog. Why is it so hard for many of us to assume accountability and responsibility for our actions, errors, failures, mistakes, neglect, or omissions? And let’s not forget that even when we are accountable, there is no responsibility without authority.

The mother of my kids has the nasty habit of blaming me whenever our kids have “issues”. However, I suppose she takes full credit when things go well with them. Although I’m indeed accountable (being their father), my complete and utter lack of authority in their daily lives, erodes any sense of responsibility (as a parent).

Responsibility and authority bring accountability. Accountability requires responsibility and authority. In business, accountability is formalised by publication of the Annual Accounts. The supervisory board discharges the management board for its responsibility after a verification of the Annual Accounts by the company’s auditors. There is no discharge without verification, else discharge would be meaningless. Moreover, discharge of responsibility for the management board automatically implies assuming responsibility by the supervisory board.

In private life, I do not ask my ex wife about her accountability as a sole parent for the “issues” of my kids as that request would only create a serious dilemma. In the absence of any verification tools, I would not even be able to give her my discharge. It’s like in the military: don’t ask, don’t tell.

Blaming others will only be successful if people trust you. Politicians who blame others easily trigger reverse psychology suspicions. The recent official press release by the Russian Embassy in Malaysia on the downing of MH17 was a perfect example of reverse psychology.

Trust is earned. Blind trust is only granted within the walls of Belief systems (e.g., Love, Politics, Religion and Science). In all other situations it’s “Trust, but verify” (a quote used by Ronald Reagan to emphasise the verification procedures of the INF treaty with the – then – Soviet Union).

Blaming others also reminds me again of the famous Abraham Lincoln quote: 

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time”.


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