I think #TwentySomethings are conditioned to find a reason for everything that happens to them. That includes the bad things and that is what we commonly know as blame. When bad things happen to us and we don’t want to own up to it, we tend to lend the fault on to something or someone else. Now I am not saying that we are incapable of being mature young adults and taking responsibility for our actions; I actually think that is the case more often then not. And even if it’s not the first reaction we have, we usually end up owning our mistakes, righting our wrongs, and moving on – eventually.
However, for the times when bad things happen and we don’t think we are at fault, we like to play what I like to call the “Blame Game.” This game is pretty much finding some ounce of justification for every action in the series of events that lead to whatever the given misfortune is; because duh, it’s obviously not your fault. The game usually ends when you find the perfect person/thing (or combination) to blame your misfortune on. It’s all about peace of mind and thinking that you can do no wrong generally helps that.
But if you’re anything like me, this game can be straight up haunting. There are things that happened years ago, and I still go back to them when the memory is sparked with this awful feeling in my gut – I think they call this guilt. There are things in my past that I didn’t want to own up to then, but that I should have taken responsibility for or at the very least, owned up to my part of the situation more gracefully. Now you might be thinking something along the lines of, “it’s in the past, just get over it.” Easier said than done. I think that as we mature and find new perspectives on life, we find things in the past that maybe we weren’t really equipped to deal with at the time, but now we can see where we went wrong in the situation.
I think these situations can be very powerful lessons, especially if we didn’t handle them correctly in the past. Chances are there consequences the first time around, so now we know exactly what not to do, we can avoid the consequences and we have a better roadmap to work out the situation, should we find ourselves in a similar situation down the road. (Hint: take the path you didn’t take before. We know where that one lead to.) If a situation does occur a second time and we let it, that’s completely on us. Like my good friend J. Cole said:
“Fool me one time, shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you.”
I would finish the last line of that quote but I don’t have enough #streetcred for all that, so I’m just going to let you assume the rest is not nearly as polite as the first two parts. Bottom line is, if it happens again and even if you really weren’t in the wrong the first time around, you are definitely at fault the second time, even if it’s simply by default. We have to own what happens to us. There’s this quote that says, “Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% what you make of it.” I couldn’t agree more.
I think owning your part in any situation is an essential part of #adulting. Think about how much of a better world we would live in if we all just owned up to our mistakes and tried to resolve them the best way possible instead of running away, blaming someone else and pretending we had no part in it. Right?! Amazing. So no more Blame Game. We are better than that. Let’s own our mistakes and right our wrongs. We might be wild, but we are smart enough to know when we need to take responsibility for our actions.
On the same page? I love it, let’s be friends! Follow me on Twitter so we can own our #adulting together.