Unless you live off the grid, you know there have been a lot of tragic accidents lately. And I’ve seen a ton of reactions. I’ve seen so many people laying blame and almost as many declaring “shame on you” to the blamers.
I can’t be one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I would never say that laying blame in an accident is acceptable. But I can’t find it in me to shame the blamers.
Because although some people may be laying blame in order to make themselves feel superior, I believe most of them have a different motivation: fear.
Overwhelming, suffocating fear.
They need someone to be responsible. So they point fingers at the parents, the organization, anyone, any entity. They need something to blame.
Because if there’s no one to blame, it means that terrible tragedy was simply a random accident that could happen to anyone, even to them.
They’re afraid to live in a world where horrible tragedies can happen through no one’s fault. They’re terrified to know they could lose a loved one at any time even if they do everything right.
It’s an overwhelming thought to anyone, especially a person who is responsible for another human being.
So they point fingers. They declare, “The parents should have been watching better. That zoo should’ve had better security measures.”
But what they’re really saying is, “I’m scared to know that could happen to me, to my child.”
I’m not saying it’s okay to fabricate blame where there is none. I’m simply saying, I understand. I understand the fear behind their inappropriate reactions.
This world can be a terrifying place. And if we can just find some reason for tragedies, some underlying cause, then the world doesn’t feel so out of control. It feels manageable.
So every time someone points a finger and makes accusations, I hear what they’re really saying: “I’m afraid.”
I can’t shame someone for reacting in fear. Because that is a most human reaction–flawed, but human.
And I’m a flawed human too.