Let’s face it, as human beings we mostly learn from our mistakes and not our accomplishments. This being the case; we all made, are making and will make mistakes. Moreover it’s not just us, everyone we know is entitled to making mistakes. In the end “to err is human”. What’s funny is, sometimes it’s not even enough to make a mistake once. We are capable of making the same mistake multiple times and keep making it. Sometimes with these mistakes we can break the hearts of people we love and even damage them financially or emotionally. Needless to say they can do it too.
When there is a mistake, according to us, it surely must belong to someone. So we blame one of the three: ourselves, someone else, or the circumstances. A Chinese proverb says: “He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one has arrived.” Blaming someone else relieves us from the pressure of responsibility. When we blame ourself we mostly tend to have the victim mentality. Finally when we can’t bear to blame ourselves we blame the environment or the circumstances.
So who’s to blame? It’s clear we have a mistake or an unwanted result in our hands. If we are not going to blame anyone for it, who’s going to take responsibility for the matter in question? What should we do to become more like that person in the Chinese proverb who blames no one and has arrived to enlightenment.
Actually the reply is very simple, we can only do 2 things; the first is to trust what is. Whatever is going on in our lives at the moment, to embrace and accept that new thing as Rumi called, “a visitor”. To believe that whatever is happening will work out to be the best result for us. If there is a mistake, the important thing is not to search for someone to blame but just to make sure we have taken the lesson we should have.
The second is to practice empathy. I can’t believe how misunderstood the word empathy is. The spiritual leader Thic Nhat Hanh describes it perfectly. He says when you plant lettuce if it doesn’t grow well you don’t blame the lettuce. You try to understand why it’s not growing, you check the soil, you check the amount of water. However when we have a problem with a friend or family member we tend to blame them. If we tried to understand them, the result would be so much different. Relationships change when we change our approach. When we focus on understanding and loving people, our perspective changes. When our perspective changes we see the result in a different light.
Before I leave you today, I’d like to let you know what inspired me to write today’s blog post. Yesterday I watched a beautiful movie. It is called “Call Me By Your Name”. I had heard of this movie from a Youtube channel which reviews movies. I remember the guy reviewing this film saying, “the only defect it has is that it lacks an antagonist or something that creates conflict”. Because the movie lacks this at the end of the movie you have no one to blame when it ends on a rather sad note. Everyone in the movie is so nice. Basically there are no villains. Still the ending is a bit sad (I don’t feel like that’s a spoiler, if you watch it, you kind of see it coming). To be honest, to me it’s what life is; sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry and sometimes we get our heart broken. What we always get however is great lessons and beautiful memories and we keep walking with them.