The art of blame

Skimming through some preliminary research on how to dissolve business partnerships, I noticed a correlation between two things: 1) common mistakes made by businesspeople looking to separate with a long-term partner, and 2) my shoe.

I stepped in canine fecal matter last week. The smell wafted up in errant waves throughout the day, and I eyed my coworkers and fellow transit passengers with suspicion and disgust. Someone, everyone, had horrible breath or a vile hygienic routine.

On discovering the offensive blob mashed into the treads of my shoe, I felt sheepish, to say the least. I had spent the entire day unwilling to consider the offensive odour could possibly be coming from me.

So goes the human condition.

Most of the people I’ve interacted with tend to unwittingly blame things little and big, on a scapegoat instead of identifying how they contributed to the problem. For whatever reason, be it ego or id, humans like to pass the burden of accountability to others when times are rough. The irony is that although it’s easy to point fingers, few of us are actually equipped to handle the accusations of others, which means hackles are raised and the bitch sessions begin. It is impossible to take the high road once you’ve labeled someone as the culprit for any of your personal or professional woes.

You become firmly entrenched in the sloppy battleground of suspicion, launching grenades of reproach and condemnation. It almost always ends badly, so the message is clear—when faced with a difficult situation, look inwards before blaming those around you for whatever mishap has befallen you.

Lamenting one’s actions in crisis after the fact can only go so far in righting the wrong, especially when it comes to laying blame.