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Half the harm that is done in this world
is due to people who want to feel
important. They don't mean to do harm
-- but the harm does not interest them.
Or they do not see it, or they justify it
because they are absorbed in the
endless struggle to think well of themselves.
                   T. S. Elliot

Hard Look At Blame

Encourages More Violence and Ignorance | Responsibility Blame Is Not Responsibility | Common Sense |

Blame Encourages More Violence and Ignorance
While blame may sooth the victim's savaged ego, it does nothing to lend itself to understanding the dynamics that led to the attack. Most importantly, it fails to show either the victim or others how similar attacks could be avoided in the future

In the long run, it is easier to take responsibility for your actions and not put yourself into dangerous situations or live lifestyles where violence is systemic. This might not be as much fun and as self-gratifying as going out and partying, associating with violent and selfish people or staying in the comfort and safety of your personal rut. But in the long run, it hurts a whole lot less than finding yourself in a violent situation and spending the rest of your life trying to put your mind, body and spirit back together.

This section was oriented to the average person, if you have a deeper interest or are considering becoming an instructor there are many more issues to be considered
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Responsibility Is Not Blame
Unfortunately whenever you mention personal responsibility in regard to the subject of rape, the immediate reaction from agenda-driven idealists is that you are "blaming the victim."

Using John Bradshaw's model of a "shame-based personality," you quickly realize that these people don't recognize the difference between "blame" and "responsibility." They are so adamant about avoiding the crushing weight of blame and casting it elsewhere, they throw the baby of responsibility out with the bathwater of blame. The two are significantly different.

Re-stressing the difference as defined at the beginning of this page, blame is mostly focused on the immediate affixing of fault and censure. Responsibility is more of a standard of ongoing conduct. There are several other factors that combine to support this contention. Return to top of page

Common Sense
We have a working definition of common sense that we often use: Common sense is knowing how things work.

By extension of knowing how things work, it also is knowing the common results of certain actions. By extension, you know what acts are best for getting desired results and what acts you should not engage in to avoid undesired results.

Unfortunately many people (especially when they are young) when faced with the choice between common sense and a self-gratifying decision, choose the latter. And they do so knowingly, ignoring the repercussions. Dr. Laura Schlessinger in her book How Could You Do That? summed up the general type of question she is asked -- which amazingly enough happens to reflect a common reaction when this selfish choice does not pan out: Now that I have done all these things I shouldn't have done, how can I avoid the consequences I knew, but denied, and just hoped would not happen?

After things have gone wrong, the defensive cry of "I didn't know" doesn't really hold water. Drinking under age or doing drugs is illegal behavior. That is a known fact. It also is hard to believe that nobody has tried to explain the reasoning that society used to pass these laws. And yet, when long-standing, selfish behavior comes home to roost, this is a common response.

What is easy to believe is that the person -- who has discovered these unacceptable behaviors are pleasurable or benefit him or her -- chooses NOT to understand.

They willfully refuse to pursue further investigation into the reasoning and logic as to why this behavior is unacceptable. From a purely "me-based" logic, this is easy to do. It doesn't hurt anyone, so why shouldn't I do it? is a common justification of this kind of behavior and thinking. It also serves as an excuse not to investigate the social and personal cost of selfish behavior.
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