Never Blame Others

Prague, 2015
Prague, 2015

Why do we blame others for our own faults?

A sociological approach

I studied sociology in school — and what I got away from it was that a lot of the ills in people can be attributed to society.

For example, why are people so fat and lazy? Blame the media, fast food, and American culture.

Why are people so mean? Blame the capitalistic culture of dog-eat-dog.

Why are people poor? Inadequate job opportunities.

Why are people so miserable? The “protestant work ethic” and obsession with work-for-work sake (at least in America).

Society is (partially) to blame

I still feel that for (most people) — society is (a bit) to blame. We are products of our society.

For example, growing up American, I was told that I could be anyone, do anything, and encouraged to take risk. This helped me become more entrepreneurially-minded.

Whereas in Korea, you’re told to shut up, listen to rules, and get a good job, and never to fail. You aren’t encouraged to take risks in Korean society.

So obviously, it was an advantage for me to grow up in America (if I wanted to become an entrepreneur).

Is society really to blame?

Yet we shouldn’t become the slaves of society and our cultural cage.

We shouldn’t ever blame others. We should never blame society.

We can only blame ourselves.

Liberate yourself

If we only ever blamed ourselves, imagine how liberating that would be.

  • Are you living in poverty? It is only your fault. It is fucking hard, but you need to figure out other ways to earn more money, decrease your expenses, or find aid to uplift yourself out of poverty.
  • Do you not have enough time to do creative work? Your fault. You let others take too much of your time, you spend too much time answering emails on your phone after work, and you prioritize your career advancement over your personal advancement.
  • Not enough time with your family? Your fault. Do you (really) prioritize your family above everything else?
  • Are you not happy with how your body looks? Your fault. You can either change how you feel about your body (mental), or you can change how your body looks (not eating sugar and carbs, and doing physical exercise).

I’m not saying any of this to be condescending or mean. Rather, it is to uplift you.

To know that you control your own destiny. That you can’t blame anyone but yourself.

Because once you’ve pointed the finger of blame to yourself, you will gain the realization that it all depends on you. That with enough hard work, persistence, innovation, and creative insight — you can create the life for yourself that you want.

Experiment: No blaming others

For a week, try to go without blaming anyone else (but yourself).

  • Did your partner do something to piss you off? Blame yourself for not setting certain boundaries, or expressing your needs.
  • Do you feel frustrated by the amount of work your boss gave you? Blame yourself for not learning how to say “no”
  • Do you feel that your photos aren’t good enough because where you live is boring? Don’t blame where you live, but blame the fact that you don’t carry your camera with you everywhere you go, and seek beauty in the mundane.

Turn shit into gold

This is something radical I’m trying to do for my life. To go a year without blaming anyone for my faults, or even shitty stuff that happens to me (even if it might be attributed to someone else).

And no matter what shitty stuff happens to you, figure out how you can turn that shit into gold. There can always be a benefit from every downside. You can transform any calamity into something that helps you.

  • Lose your job? Finally you can get a job you really want.
  • Lose a loved one? A chance for you to appreciate others who are still alive in your life.
  • Did you become sick? A chance for you to build strength and grit, and become tougher. And if you become healthy, to appreciate when you are not sick.
  • Lose a bunch of money? You learn how to be more risk-averse with your money, and to live more frugally and economically.

Always be strong,

Learn more: Stoic Philosophy >

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