Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

Blame Storming Session

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Earlier in the year the national weather service indicated that this year’s hurricane season was to be potentially severe, and that prediction has certainly come to fruition. There is also another storm progressing that continues to be quite severe, and always ready to create havoc in our lives. That is hurricane “Blame”. I am not sure if it is a category 5, yet, but it appears to be gaining strength as each day goes by, and the destruction could be devastating. As “Blame” becomes stronger, and the role of personal accountability becomes less and less of a barometer in evaluating the health of our society, the need for social values and principles deteriorate into irrelevancy. Eventually our society has the potential to capsize. We have already seen the destructive nature of “Blame” in our schools, corporations, government and more. Why do we need honesty and integrity when it is someone else’s fault for our failings? We don’t! “It was my dysfunctional family.” “I did not have an adequate role model growing up.” “These are reasons I had to lie.” Really? Why are manners and respectful behavior necessary when it is the fault of the Internet, television and peer pressure for a child’s misbehavior, and not the child themselves? Why do we need to be fiscally responsible with our own finances when we can fault the government for being irresponsible with the nation’s finances? Why do we need to be professionally responsible for our work performance when it is my manager’s fault for not listening to me? Why do we need to be personally responsible in our daily lives when it is the fault of society and the media for sensationalizing totally irresponsible behavior? The way the winds of thought are blowing presently, if I falter, there must be something or someone I can blame. Excuses are the hidden undercurrents that fuel the storm.

Every time we blame, whine and/or complain what do we give up? We relinquish control. We give control to some other entity. How could you possibly be content and fulfilled when you believe it is up to someone or something else to be responsible for your life? Wait just a minute, isn’t it someone else’s responsibility, my place of work, the government, my place of worship, my community, society, to make me happy and fulfilled? Granted, they all may play a role, but the reality is that you and I, from the moment we wake up in the morning, to the time we put our heads on that pillow at night, it is our choices and our decisions every day that structure what we become, and eventually determine how happy we are. It is the personal example we set everyday by our actions, and taking personal responsibility for those actions that determine how easily we get caught in the hurricane’s path. Once again, those choices and decisions stem from an understanding of what it is we stand for and believe, i.e. our core values. The resulting consequences from just whining about hurricane “Blame”, and not taking the actions to prepare for and minimize its impact, will be disastrous.

As mentioned in previous discussions, we set an example everyday to those around us. I encourage everyone who may read this column to no longer put up with the whiners, blamers and excuse makers. That we hold strong to becoming “No Excuse!” people and understand that we set an example of personal accountability to ourselves, our children and those we influence. We cannot let hurricane “Blame” get the best of us.



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