The World’s Oldest Game

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

One popular game we play today is the blame game. It is really the oldest game in existence. It started back in the Garden of Eden when Adam took a bite of the apple. When he was confronted by God he basically said, “It wasn’t my fault. The woman made me do it.” When God turned to Eve she basically said, “It wasn’t my fault. The snake made me do it.” (Genesis 3:11-13)

Fixing blame seldom solves a problem. In a business, there will be mistakes. We should spend less energy fixing the blame and more energy fixing the mistake.

Our legal system is cluttered with cases today of people who want to blame someone for something for which they ought to take responsibility. Entering a lawsuit is oftentimes an effort to place blame without assuming responsibility.

A former mistress of a Nassau County, New York, police officer is suing the county because the supervisors should have stopped Officer Mike Tedesco from visiting her home while on duty and sleeping with her. She claims they were “negligent” for not knowing. The woman is Tara Obenauer, a Wall Street executive, who says the affair caused her “severe and substantial emotional damage.” And it’s the county’s fault?

An Illinois appeals court dismissed a lawsuit by two grown children who sued their mother for “bad mothering.” They claimed that she didn’t buy them enough toys, sent a birthday card that her son didn’t like, and often haggled over the amount spent on party dresses. Where is responsibility?

Eric Kenley weighs 400 pounds and is a convicted robber, identified by victims. He has been released from prison because a police lineup did not contain other obese people. The suit alleged that the lack of “grossly overweight” men in the lineup violated Kenley’s rights. Really!

John Banzhaf entered a lawsuit against Catholic University because they have so much Catholic imagery there. It violates the rights of his client. He claims that he cannot go anywhere without “being looked down upon by Jesus on a cross.” What else would you expect from a Catholic University?

Most of us will never file a lawsuit to avoid accountability, but we do play the blame game in a lot of other ways. Placing blame never solves the problem. Accepting responsibility and asking forgiveness are good starting points.

Remember what blame instead of responsibility did to Adam, and we are still living with his response!

You win the blame game by not playing.

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