A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

LAYING BLAME



Back in February of 2008, a bloke called Graham Calvert tried suing bookmakers William Hill’s for £2 Million. He didn’t trip over in one of their shops. Nor did a ceiling fall on his head. Nothing sinister like that. No, what happened is that he lost a fortune through betting with them, and he thinks they should have stopped him doing it.

Apparently they did try!

You see, he asked for his account to be closed and they duly obliged. But then he secretly opened up another one with them and lost even more money in their direction. So now he’s suing them to get it back.

I think this is an excellent idea,
and it sets an interesting precedent…

Because if he’d been successful, I would have been taking out actions against the sweetie shops that sold me indecent quantities of sherbet fountains and penny chews back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. I shall be seeking to recover the cost of all the resultant dental work, multiple diet plans and the cost of supersize clothing.

And then, when I’d got that one under my belt, I would have tackled all the pubs that have supplied me with way too much alcohol over the past 30 years or so. I’ll be going for the lot with them… possible liver damage, all the pain and distress of hangovers, dry cleaning bills… everything.

And then it’d be those damned car dealers turn. They knew I was a mug punter for God’s sake, but they still pushed their expensive shiny cars on me, knowing full well they’d be worth about half as much in two years time. Surely they should have stopped me doing it, shouldn’t they?

Why the heck shouldn’t I jump on the bandwagon?
It seems like everyone else has…

Tripped over a paving stone when you weren’t looking where you were going? Sue the council. They should have shaved an extra 3 millimetres off that paving stone. Eaten too much and got fat? Don’t blame yourself… go after the fast food restaurants and junk food manufacturers who’s crap you ate - even though you had a free choice to do so or not. On the verge of bankruptcy? Take action against the credit card companies and banks that lent you the money you asked for in the first place… begged even lied on your application to get. They simply shouldn’t have given it to you.

Now I’m not sure at what point we changed from taking responsibility for everything we did or do in our lives, to taking responsibility for virtually nothing, but it happened at some point during my lifetime.

When I was a kid, only the certifiably insane would ever have been protected from the consequences of their own actions. But today it seems like everything that ever happens to us is always someone else’s fault.

There are no accidents anymore… just culpable parties waiting to be sued. There are no personal errors of judgement… just companies who’ve tricked us or unfairly persuaded us to do something contrary to our own interests.

There are just things and people around to blame for everything.

And here’s why this is so important…

Because it’s only a short step, from blaming someone else when we trip up, get fat or get into debt, to blaming someone else when our businesses don’t make the profits we feel they should do.

You see, the very first stage in securing the best chance of success with any personal project, goal or venture is to accept full responsibility for the outcomes. To do otherwise is to give us an early exit strategy… in other words, an excuse for guaranteed failure.

It’s remarkably easy to give up when we convince ourselves it’s someone else’s fault. But not so easy when we accept that the blame lays fairly and squarely on our own shoulders.

Unfortunately, adversity happens to everyone in some form or other. But it’s how we react to the adversity that really counts. And those who accept full responsibility for what’s happened to them, almost always seem to react the best.


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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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