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|Volume 11 |Issue 27| July 07, 2012 ||
It's not my fault, they made me…
Aasha Mehreen Amin
Few people will admit that they are the cause of their own problems - except on rare occasions, say, within the walls of a therapist's office. Being in denial of one's own shortcomings is a human trait that probably started from prehistoric times: a cave man decides it feels better to blame his fellow cave dweller for the wild boar getting away from their grip because of an untimely flirtation with some cavewoman, never mind his own stupidity of letting go to scratch his back. Unquestionably, the cavewoman will be the ultimate scapegoat for using her feminine charms at the crucial moment of the hunt for the weekly groceries.
In modern times we tend to use the same blame-game to explain all the unexpected, jarring moments of our life. When we arrive an hour late to a meeting we blame it on the choking traffic, which we have been experiencing for the last few years with little change and hence have had enough time to figure out that we should have started much earlier in the first place. When we get overweight we attribute it to the grief dished out to us by spouses, children, in-laws and office colleagues or just the crabby old boss. Of course it has nothing whatsoever to do with the overindulgence during snack time; it is after all, impossible to resist the roshomalai waiting in the fridge, practically wailing at you to be devoured. It also has nothing to do with the fact that you have chosen to live your life in either the sitting or lying position, moving from one box to the other (home to vehicle to office to home) using very few muscles and kilojoules. You may make the argument that you are conserving energy for some unfathomable future use and then later attribute the blocks in the arteries as a result of that ubiquitous enemy – Stress. When irritating suggestions are given – walk for an hour, don't eat oily food and go to bed early – there are always good excuses to give. There are no empty pavements to walk on, there's no time to exercise, one eats what one is served and are you telling me to forgo that one pleasure in my life –the night-time rendezvous with the box of boundless mindless entertainment – TV?
Children blame their parents for everything going wrong in their lives while parents reciprocate with similar counter blaming.
Politicians in particular, have transformed the blame game into an art form. When officials of the government are accused of corruption or inefficiency, they promptly point fingers at the dirty tricks of opposition parties and their sympathisers – the media, 'for tarnishing the image of the country'. Meanwhile, opposition parties will attribute just about everything – from natural calamities to a bad hair day – as the diabolic manipulations of the ruling party.
The public will always blame the government for everything and most of it is legitimate. Sometimes however, they tend to forget that they too, have contributed to certain miseries –jaywalking, speeding, the urge to zig zag through gridlocks and the compulsion to throw garbage and answer to the call of nature – anywhere they feel like it.
Women who relentlessly nag their husbands all day (sometimes all night too) are outraged that their partners for life have developed fake hearing problems and are reluctant to come home. Short, balding, pot-bellied marriage candidates with zero charm and very little in the looks department find prospective brides 'too short', 'too dark' or 'not thin enough' and blame the ghotok (matchmaker) for being incompetent.
Painful and inconvenient as it may be, a little introspection is therefore, a good beginning to solving these problems. We have to admit, to ourselves at least, that at times we haven't received what we should have because of our own little flaws – incorrigible laziness, bad attitude, dishonesty and momentary lapses of rational thinking. Of course it's also all the stress we go through 'because of certain people'.