Blame and the Journey

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Curt Sunshine
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Blame and the Journey

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 Apr 2019, 11:31

They who blame others have a long way to go on their journey.

They who blame themselves are half-way there.

They who blame no one have already arrived.


I can argue with a couple of potential implications of this quote, but I love the central message.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mom3
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by mom3 » 27 Apr 2019, 02:29

I would add, sometimes we can only do the final one - one item at a time.

At least that is my experience.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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rrosskopf
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by rrosskopf » 28 Apr 2019, 02:02

Our judicial system is based on assigning blame. Some people have championed the idea of no-fault auto insurance; in some states insurance pays claims regardless of fault. The idea is based on the notion that no one wants to get into an accident. But those that work hard to know and keep the traffic laws expect equal diligence from others, and there is something to be said for that.
I suggest the argument is one of agency; whoever has the most agency to prevent an accident has the greater responsibility or fault. No one is forcing people to drive drunk on the wrong side of the road in the middle of the night. People who drink and drive play a dangerous lottery. The same could be said for those who don't study the traffic laws, believe the traffic laws are only suggestions, or who for a variety of reasons increase the probability of an accident.
No-fault auto insurance is a convenience. It reduces red tape, legal proceedings, and the need for lawyers. That convenience has a cost though. More people will have blasé attitudes towards driving, and the world will be a more dangerous place to drive.

There are cases were both drivers have done all they could do, within reason, and the accident still occurred. This is the point at which assigning blame or fault has little to no value. Anyway, this is my take on the issue and it is subject to change. Maybe I'm only half way there. ;-)

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SilentDawning
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Apr 2019, 00:48

Curt Sunshine wrote:
26 Apr 2019, 11:31
They who blame others have a long way to go on their journey.

They who blame themselves are half-way there.

They who blame no one have already arrived.


I can argue with a couple of potential implications of this quote, but I love the central message.
To me this is about locus of control. Internal locus of control -- you think everything that happens is due to your own behavior. External locus of control, you believe what happens is largely out of your own control.

Each has its place -- that time-honored maxim:

"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

The first first two lines are about external locus of control, the third line is about internal locus of control, and the last one is the great challenge.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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dande48
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by dande48 » 29 Apr 2019, 06:20

I think we could all do to be a little more charitable and kind towards ourselves and others. Even where "agency" is at play, there are so many forces outside our control.

As an example: Let's say two people (Person A & Person B) go out drinking. They have a few drinks too many, and drive home. Person A ends up running over and killing a kid. They gets arrested for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. That's a minimum 4-10 years in most jurisdictions. Plus, if you've got a felony on your record, in the US, you're life is pretty much ruined. Person B makes it home safe, and has no lasting repercussions. Maybe they hear what happened to person A, and resolves never to drink and drive again.

Ultimately, our judicial system will hold person A accountable for manslaughter. Person B was given a "second chance", and had no lasting repercussions. Also, if the parents who kids got killed by person A had been better at watching their kid, not letting them wander the streets late at night, Person A would've also had no lasting repercussions. Or what if person A had just "one more drink" than he had? Maybe they would've realized he was too drunk and gotten a taxi. Or what if they had just stayed an extra minute at the bar, before driving home. With the difference in timing, that kid wouldn't have been there, and Person A wouldn't have had any lasting repercussions.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Roy
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by Roy » 29 Apr 2019, 10:21

SilentDawning wrote:
29 Apr 2019, 00:48
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

The first first two lines are about external locus of control, the third line is about internal locus of control, and the last one is the great challenge.
Along with this is the motto of the special Olympics:

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

All should be allowed to compete and reasonable accommodations should be made to provide those opportunities. However, not everyone "wins". Who wins and who does not win is not just dependent on who wants it more or who trains harder - some people compete with challenges that might preclude them from ever winning. But to give it your all knowing that you will likely never earn a medal - that is bravery.

Last night in our family home church meeting, we talked about Jesus healing the blind man. In the beginning of the chapter the disciples ask whose fault it is that the man was born blind - his own or his parents. Jesus answered that it was nobody's fault!

Sometimes our belief in agency and justice leads us to assume that individuals in disadvantaged positions must have done something to deserve their fate. We propped up a racist temple and priesthood ban by explaining that people of African descent didn't qualify for a more "blessed" mortality. We as a church have specifically disavowed that theory but I believe that we still teach and believe that the babies that are born "in the covenant" as members of the church were somehow more valiant and noble in the premortal realm - thus earning their favored position.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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On Own Now
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by On Own Now » 29 Apr 2019, 12:13

As long as we are quoting, I like this as a way to get past how we got here, and just work on what is next:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -JRRTolkein, Fellowship of the Ring
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: Blame and the Journey

Post by Roy » 29 Apr 2019, 14:33

Curt Sunshine wrote:
26 Apr 2019, 11:31
They who blame others have a long way to go on their journey.

They who blame themselves are half-way there.

They who blame no one have already arrived.


I can argue with a couple of potential implications of this quote, but I love the central message.
Thinking about this has me wondering. First off, that that see themselves on a journey are on a journey. We, as LDS, see the road to perfection as a long journey that will not be complete until long after we are dead. It is summed up in the common phrase of "Endure to the end."
In Matt. 5:48, the term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means “complete.” Teleios is an adjective derived from the noun telos, which means “end.”10 The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono, which means “to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.”11 Please note that the word does not imply “freedom from error”; it implies “achieving a distant objective.”

Meanwhile, brothers and sisters, let us do the best we can and try to improve each day. When our imperfections appear, we can keep trying to correct them. We can be more forgiving of flaws in ourselves and among those we love. We can be comforted and forbearing. The Lord taught, “Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now … ; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.”40
We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless.
By RMN https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... g?lang=eng Emphasis mine

As this might apply to the quote in the OP, I can imagine that those that do not measure up (which is all of us) and then blame others for their failings still have "a long way to go on their journey."

Those that do not measure up and then blame themselves are "half-way there". They still do not measure up but at least they have progressed from assigning blame on outward forces that are beyond their means to control or even sometimes influence. Now they place the blame or the credit on themselves. This can be somewhat helful in that is can be motivating to try hard believing that dedication, effort, and personal endurance can win the day. However, in this approach the end goal is still a long way off.

I imagine that those that "blame no one" have come to accept themselves and their circumstances. I believe that they do not affix blame because they are not really keeping score. They are not overly worried with their deficiencies from a future perfected state. They may not conceptualize themselves as being on a journey with a fixed destination. They may imagine themselves as complete, or whole, or fully developed right now in the moment - even though they may still grow and change in the future. Thus they "have already arrived" because the "journey" and the destination was always a mental construct.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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