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Whose Fault Is It?

Written by Jessie Huart Sullivan | Published on October 10, 2015 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2015/10/10/fault-it/
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Stop sign with word "blaming" added under the word Stop

Image via devils rancher/Flickr.

by Jessie Huart Sullivan

Why does it make us feel better to place blame? Many of us are guilty of it. When something goes wrong, our first instinct is to determine whose fault it is.

According to Dr. Brené Brown, it’s because blame gives us some semblance of control. However, blame is simply the discharging of anger, discomfort, and pain.

When we focus on blaming, we remain fixated on the problem and not potential solutions.

Watch here (3:16 min):

We see this happening in politics all the time; gun violence, oil spills, a struggling economy. Who is to blame? When we place blame, we’re not having productive dialogue.

We’re not talking about the connections between people, animals, and the environment, and we’re not generating positive solutions.

In a longer version of the RSA Short above, Dr. Brené Brown tells a compelling story of the connections between blame, vulnerability, and empathy. When we embrace the feelings of discomfort and pain instead of discharging them as blame, we make ourselves vulnerable; and when we’re vulnerable we can be present and wholly engaged to better practice empathy.

What would our political system look like if our politicians came from a place of vulnerability rather than blame?

Click here to watch the full video (20:19 min) on “The Power of Vulnerability.”