Story of the Day for Monday March 19, 2012
Taking the Blame for a Wild Pitch
“Have you eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?” “The woman you gave me, gave it to me to eat, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What is this you’ve done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Contrary to public opinion, blame was not first discovered by political talk show hosts. Blaming others goes back to the Garden. God asks Adam if he ate from the tree. Instead of admitting it, he blames both God and Eve: “the woman YOU gave me . . .” When God directs his question to Eve, she passes the blame to the Serpent.
TV station managers love bad weather because it’s news. Meteorologists, on the other hand, hate storms. They have learned that people are furious and rain down obscenities on them when bad weather hits the area. One forecaster in Louisville said she hates to go to the grocery store during storms because everyone blames her for the bad weather.
And blaming others is contagious. Nathanael J. Fast from USC and Larissa Tiedens from Stanford published a study on “Blame Contagion.” In one experiment, half the participants read a newspaper article that said Gov. Schwarzenegger blamed special interest groups for a costly special election that failed. The other half read an article in which the California governor took full responsibility for the failure.
Afterward, participants were asked to write about a personal failure and add who was responsible. Those who read the article where the governor blamed special interest groups were more likely to blame others for their failure; those who read the second article tended to accept responsibility for their actions.
Every troubled organization knows about the “circular firing squad.” Pointing fingers and assigning blame, Fast and Tiedens discovered, is especially prevalent among people who feel insecure.
This is why God’s grace is so beautiful. We can have the courage to take responsibility for our failures, because when we do, God will forgive us. Our sense of security is not based on our goodness, but on the knowledge that we are safe in God.
When we know we’re forgiven, there’s no longer a need to shift the blame.
The Baltimore Orioles needed a win to tie for first place in the AL East. But, a Toronto Blue Jay runner scored from third on a wild pitch, and the Orioles lost the game.
Afterward, the Orioles catcher Jamie Quirk shouldered the responsibility. “A major-league catcher has to block that ball . . . I should have blocked it . . . I’m a professional catcher.”
And guess what? By taking the blame for a wild pitch, Jamie Quirk didn’t receive scorn from Orioles fans. He bravely protected his pitcher. And won the admiration of all.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)