To Choose, Not to Blame

People look at either “nature” or “nurture” as a way to explain their behavior. In other words: “Do I act and think the way I do because of my family upbringing?” Or: “Do I act and think the way I do because of my physiology?” Here’s the question people rarely ask themselves: “What’s logical and sensible about the way I think and act? What isn’t–and why?” The latter questions focus on today, tomorrow and going forward months or years into the future. The first questions focus both on the past–including ancient history–as well as what you cannot control or change, in most cases. Some people feel like they don’t want to blame themselves–so they’d rather blame something they cannot control, or people whose actions they had nothing to do with. My question: Why blame anyone? Hold yourself responsible for improving your life, regardless of who’s to blame–assuming anyone is to blame at all. I think a lot of this problem started with religion. Religion claimed that some fundamental being or power is responsible, in the end, for causing everything. Even though many have abandoned or seriously questioned religion, they have not abandoned the assumptions that gave rise to it. Today, as in the more superstitious past, too many people look outside themselves to blame. Instead, they would do well to look inside themselves–not to blame, but to choose.