The Attitude Lounge by Kodwo Brumpon: The Blame Game

The Attitude Lounge by Kodwo Brumpon: Today is not Yesterday
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies

“If you do not forgive a crime, you commit a crime.” – Akan proverb

It is said that ‘the biggest lesson in history is that we never learn the lessons of history’. It might sound sarcastic, but that is exactly what happens over and over again. We know that almost all our attitudinal traits were mastered through imitation, and yet the surprising majority of us do not think twice about our actions before we take them. It does not even occur to us that someone somewhere, whom we inspire, one who looks up to us, might be watching and will imitate what we are doing.

Growing up, we have all imitated casual and formal actions of adults and peers until we developed our unique way of doing those actions. Imitation is one of our biggest learning tools, and it plays a crucial role in the development of our cognitive and social behaviour – from language to our mannerisms. Imitation is culture’s most powerful transmission tool.

One attitudinal trait we are all comfortable in imitating is the blame-game. It is very normal for individuals to point accusing fingers at others for the decay in society. The ruled blame the rulers for ‘lack of vision’. The rulers blame the ruled for unpatriotic acts. Adults are quick to point accusing fingers at the youth for their aggressive pursuance of materialism. The youth retell it the other way round. Spouses blame their partners for discontentment and everything. And everyone is blaming someone else for something. It has become part of our psyche. It is so widespread that it has become a norm for us to influence, and be influenced by, how blame is given and received.

Unfortunately, blame is rarely assigned in an objective or fair manner. Too often, we get caught up in ‘the blame-game’ and sometimes, the wrong individual gets blamed for the wrong reasons at the wrong time. The result is that more and more individuals are focusing on the politics of avoiding blame than on actually getting any job or task done. The blame-game has moulded us all into political sycophants who are too afraid to speak up or experiment with new approaches to solution-design. And so, instead of designing holistic solutions to eradicate the challenges of our society, we expend our energies strategising on how to avoid blame.

There are times when we get caught up in the heat of the moment – our inability to meet a target, a failure to get work done or when we cannot bear to see the ugliness of our actions. Those are really the rough aspects of ourselves that we cannot face in the light; an entanglement we do not want others to associate with us. We therefore find it convenient to relocate our inabilities, our failures and our ugliness onto someone else. We want to disassociate ourselves from such events and make it apply to someone or some others. And so we blame it on others. The boss blames the workers and the workers blame the boss. The government blames the opposition and the opposition blames the government, while the electorate blames the politician and the politician the electorate.

The blame-game is a vicious cycle of a shame-relocation strategy. More often than not, we blame others and everyone else because they are easy targets. And, a lot of times, we want someone else to take the fall for us because we simply cannot admit our weaknesses and our faults. We blame others because we want to look good in the eyes of other people. However, every time you point a finger, three of your own fingers point at you, to remind you to take a proper look at yourself. Our inabilities, failures and ugliness do not make us trash or scum; they just remind us of our humanness.

It is no secret that we all make mistakes. However, strategising to blame innocence for your mistakes is demotivating and demoralising for the human soul. It destroys our humanity in unseen observances. Like headaches, they are signals of things to come. The blame-game leaves us in the middle of the road, between what we know is wrong and the indecision of being branded a failure or unattractive. It is hypocrisy at its highest peak. You cannot be human and not make mistakes. You cannot love without making sacrifices and suffering for its cause. You cannot lead without stepping on toes. How can you paint me as a beauty when you cannot accept your ugliness?

Every time you point the cruel accusatory finger, let it sink into your reality that no one can live the life that you are living and the standards that you have set for yourself. You are only pointing out your inabilities, failures and ugliness to the world. And if you care to know, we also have our own challenges of weakness we are grappling with; so, please spare us your attention-seeking accusations. Work at improving yourself and stop the blame-game.


Kodwo Brumpon is an author, a life coach and a philanthropist who inspires individuals, groups and organisations to think and feel that which is true, by helping them to positively respond to that which is beautiful while nudging them to let goodness govern their actions.

Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at [email protected]


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