Amongst our most favourable animals are scapegoats. They come handy in many situations. As soon as something goes wrong or doesn’t work out, is it not good if we can blame someone or something for it? Or is it?
Often we blame the weather, politicians, minority groups, strangers, people close to us, in-laws or neighbours. How do we feel when we blame? What happens to us afterwards? What function does blaming have for us. What does it do for us? Notice, how often we blame.
Whatever goes wrong in the world, believing the vast majority of media coverage, we have only one person to blame: Mr. Bad – superstar! From sheer obscurity he has become a celebrity, the most wanted, hated, blamed person. I am intrigued, how powerful he must be. Is he really, or has he only been invented to justify a huge military action that is obscure and grotesque?
It makes me wonder, when I read Indian Booker Prize winner Arunhati Roy’s article published in the British Guardian newspaper, or statements by Noam Chomski, Susan Sontag, Deepak Chopra or any other of the many thinking well-known authors. They offer a different perspective to the dehumanised reports on “military actions” that have wide media coverage.
Rather than the futile attempt to fight evil by doing evil Hollywood actor Richard Gere suggests to use “the medicine of love and compassion”. This is important for everyone, even terrorists: “If we can see the terrorists as a relative who’s dangerously sick and we have to give them medicine, and the medicine is love and compassion. There’s nothing better”, he said. (The Press, 16 Oct 01, p.11) How come that his words of wisdom that have been inspired by the Dalai Lama are introduced with slight cynicism?
Are we naive to consider the following or are we wise and realistic?
“Imagine. There is currently a huge surge of anger in the United States and all over the western world. And rightly so, because so many loved ones were lost in the unspeakable disaster that took place in New York and Washington.
“Imagine the power behind these emotions. It is very likely to lead to so much more death, destruction and destitution. The United States are currently making available immense resources to lead a war they haven’t asked for.
“Now imagine, just for a moment, that this anger turns around.
“Imagine the United States declared peace on those terrorists rather than war. Imagine these hurting people turned around and said “we have been hurt, we have been humiliated, we have been .. killed in the thousands, and our enemies have asked us to declare war on them, but we won’t”. Imagine they stood up and said “no more killing”. They took the resources they made available to finance a war and used it to help the very people they are about to attack, the people of Afghanistan that are starving in refugee camps in their millions in Iran and Pakistan. Imagine they built shelters and schools and hospitals. How many hospitals can you build from a war budget?
“Imagine all those people that lost their loved ones in the attacks telling their children one day “your father, your mother died in a terrible event that shook the whole world, but they did not die in vain, something good came out of it, something truly remarkable”. (Source unknown)
Imagine there is only peace on earth. Who would mind? No-one would suffer, apart from weapon producing enterprises where presidents and terrorists alike invest (see articles on http://www.emperors-clothes.com).
Blame that seems to justify more evil actions and crimes to humanity is so widely portrayed these days that it may appear as normal. Yet, there is another side to blame. While it may offer short-term relief to blame someone else, actually it is a declaration of our powerlessness. If it is someone else’s fault, this someone or something obviously has some power over us. We can ignore that we ever had a part to play in the first place.
The problem with blaming is that it leaves us powerless. In fact, we can empower ourselves by taking responsibility and practicing forgiveness. Whatever may happen to you, just ask, “What is my part in that?” “What is asked of me?” “What can I do differently?” Put yourself into the picture – notice the connection.
Byron Katie calls it “Reversing Judgement”:
“Practice noticing when you judge or criticize someone or something. For example, in a grocery store line, you might be impatient and think the person in front of you is disorganized and rude. Quickly turn your judgment around and ask yourself: “Is it just as true about me? Am I rude? (Am I rude sometimes; to others – or to myself?) Am I being rude inside of me when I think they are rude?”
This exercise takes your attention off the “other” and places your attention on you. Forgiveness naturally results. Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.” (21 Ways to Stay in the Peace)
Imagine we can make a difference by claiming personal power and responsibility, by developing love and compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Let’s start right now, here.
Copyright © 10/2001 by Rumijabu |