Without Blame – Accidents Do Happen

Blame - Accidents Do Happen

Without Blame - Accidents Do Happen

Lying in bed this morning, I took advantage of the peaceful and still house as I snuggled under warm blankets and buried any thoughts of the day away in the pages of a good book. Not long into this restful repose I was pulled back into reality by the sound of heavy footsteps scurrying up the stairs. My husband anxiously entered the room and stated, “I need your help” as he calmly pointed to the fishing lure hanging from the sleeve of his dress shirt. In venturing closer I saw a small, crimson drop of blood spotted on the white fabric, indicating the fabric was not all that had been punctured.

We quickly cut away the cloth, releasing its tug on the steel hook embedded deep into his upper-right arm. Through closer analysis of the exposed hooks attached to the other end of this fishing lure, we knew that the embedded tip was barbed; this meant it couldn’t easily be backed out of the same hole it entered in. The process went something like this: Cut shirt sleeve away from impaled arm, snip hook with wire cutters in hopes of pushing tip through the surface, tough husband tries to extract it himself (tough has its limits), visit to a nurse friend who had no luck as well, next visit to doctor’s office, pain medication injection administered, sharp scalpel used to open up the wound, out pops the problem, tetanus injection given and finally followed by a bandage for the boo-boo.

It would have been easy for Steve to have placed blame on his son for hanging the lure on the visor of our vehicle (a place where it shouldn’t have been), just as it would have been easy for his son to blame dad for not being careful (especially since it had been in the same place for so long). But blame was not given to anyone; however, my son’s feelings of guilt wished for him to take it. I felt it important to help him understand that it was just an accident. Too often, even when blame can be rightfully given for misfortune and pain, it is used to push away accountability for one’s part. We live in a society where too many are looking to benefit from others with any opportunity they can, and unfortunately greed as well as insecurity both play their roles in people’s actions.

With our society filled with so many individuals suing the stranger, the neighbor, the family member or friend, it is refreshing to hear of those who choose not to limit their lives by placing blame on others for their circumstance. Such an example was told to me by a friend as she talked about a life-threatening skull fracture she had experienced at the age of seventeen caused from a fall off a horse. As she proceeded to talk about the incident and the experience of having Life Flight (an air ambulance) transport her to a hospital equipped to handle head trauma in Phoenix, Arizona, she also expressed her culpability in the incident. Apparently, as she and a group of friends were getting ready to ride she discovered that the stirrups (foot holds) hanging down from the saddle had not been properly adjusted. Instead of taking the time to fix the problem she felt it was easiest to not use them at all. This decision lead to the end result of a head injury after she fell from the not-so-sure-footed horse.

Whether it be an accident, a condition or a way in which one has been treated, if excuses are used they will become obstacles of blame that ultimately will not serve to benefit in one’s journey. Dustin Hoffman once jokingly stated that, “Blame is for God and small children.” So, wouldn’t our lives be more richly benefited if we understood that the ability to push blame out of our mindset is a skill that can be learned, just as young children learn to get along with others? I also love the statement by American psychologist and writer Albert Ellis, who has said that, “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Each person’s treatment of blame can be recognized and addressed if they choose to do so. I believe by taking control of this single action (like taking control of the reins on a horse) you will be capable of directing your life and becoming more accountable for you, and hopefully by doing so you will find a higher ground where there is no one to blame.

In Other’s Words:

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”

~Robert Anthony~

1 Comment

  1. Your family never fails to amaze me with all the happenings. There is never a dull moment and that is what makes your lives so unique.

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