Yesterday, on “Marketplace,” the radio show that makes it almost possible for me to understand economics, the fabulously voiced host, Kai Ryssdal (the man judging pumpkin pies in the picture above) read letters and emails from listeners. Not surprisingly, most listeners had strong feelings about the financial bailout and the country’s fiscal meltdown. Ryssdal started the segment with the comment that “revenge is a dish best served cold,” and ended by saying that even those who didn’t want revenge clearly want to blame someone for the mess.
That started me thinking about blame and why it’s so tempting – and satisfying – to point the finger at someone and say “YOUR FAULT.” And of course, that finger-pointing is something one tries to inoculate one’s children against: “I don’t care whose fault it is, you are not allowed to whack your brother with a wooden train track.” To which Liam likes to respond: “Caleb instigated me so I couldn’t help it. It’s HIS FAULT that I hit him.”
Do you see how mature I am in NOT talking about the blame games within a marriage … and my somewhat uncomfortable realization that my children may not be the only people who need lessons about personal responsibility. I know, I know that I shouldn’t hit my husband with a wooden train track just because he left his (dirty) socks on the table again.
But I digress.
So there I was, listening to “Marketplace,” sitting in traffic on the FDR, and because I was alone, I indulged in the deliciousness of finger pointing (and okay, maybe a little ranting, too).
And I figured it out. I know where to point the finger; I know who is to blame for it all: Iraq, Katrina, the housing bubble (and the subsequent POP that has beslimed the country), the financial implosion…
Ask yourself: what would have happened if he hadn’t thrown his ego in the ring against Gore and Bush, way back when …
Now you want to point your finger too.