Tuesday, November 1, 2016


     Do you like credit when you’ve done something special? Do you want people to know that you did something extraordinary? Do you accept blame when you’re wrong? Do you admit it openly to the person you hurt or insulted? This credit and blame thing fascinates me. 

      We were out with some friends the other night. The husband told a very flattering story about the wife, but he didn’t make it clear (in her mind) that the positive results of her decision in the story affected many peoples’ lives. It was clear to us listening, but not to her. She piped right up and clarified. I noticed immediately that she wanted credit for her decision. Now to some it might have seemed unnecessary and too attention-getting, but I get it. Her courageous gesture was one only she could have offered, and she was proud of the talent and hard work that allowed her to make the last-second decision.

     When Mr. Wonderful hits his head on the trunk, it’s the fault of the car’s design, not his being distracted. When I can’t fit into my skirt, it’s the cleaner’s fault for shrinking it. I couldn’t possibly have gained an ounce.

      The credit/blame game has been very apparent in the recent mortifying dialogue out of control in our political arena. It’s always the other guy’s fault. So what is it about credit and blame that inspires grown adults (not necessarily mature grown adults) to flaunt credit and duck blame?

      I think it’s ego. This is profound, isn’t it? I am taking credit for discovering the obvious. Our little egos seem to surface when we often don’t expect it. I believe it’s human nature to have these feelings, but it’s maturity that keeps credit and blame in check. 

    How do we know if we are guilty of playing this game? Ask yourself:

     Can I remain quiet when someone compliments something I made when they don’t realize I made it?
     Can I verbalize blame for something about which I wrongly claimed “not my fault?”

     Can I accept criticism for something I knowingly did wrong? 

     If someone tells a story in which I should be the heroine, and they paint a different picture, can I refrain from correcting them, therefore risking the storyteller’s embarrassment?

     If you are guilty of any of the above, you are human, but your ego may be on alert. That’s ok, as long as you recognize it and vow to keep it in check. If you don’t, oh, well. You’re like most of the world. If you do, however, you are being the “we we all want to be.”