Growing up with two younger brothers, we often found ourselves playing the blame game.
The three of us boys would be playing together and all of a sudden mom would hear a crash. Coming into the room we were playing in, she would find something smashed on the floor while three boys, with that deer-in-the-headlight look in their eyes, pointed at one another.
Usually there was a finger pointed at each of us, but sometimes, often times, two fingers would be pointed at our youngest brother while his finger would be pointing toward one of the two pointing at him. I don’t remember a time when one of us, a little less than perfect boys, owned up to being the guilty one.
We were your typical kids who instead of manning up, we played the blame game, hoping we would continue to be seen as the perfect angel. It was one of the other boys who deserves the blame and punishment, even while we held the incriminating evidence in our hands.
This blame game is played in every household, every office, board room and even in the halls of Congress.
You would think as we grow older, become more confident and responsible, we would take ownership of our mistakes, but we don’t.
Administrators often point to someone below them. Managers blame employees, husbands blame wives and vice versa, and the blame game continues to be played. Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats, and often times, politicians from both parties blame the press.
Truth be told, blame is seldom only with one person.
There were three boys in that room and most often two or maybe even all three were playing too rough. Instead of just one boy being at fault, most likely it was all three.
The same is true with most things, including the COVID-19.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but going through a problem is often times a case of the blind leading the blind. There is no clear cut path to follow, some turns will be down the right path but many will lead to a dead end.
Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Everyone is searching for answers. Some of the answers will work, others will not, but we must try.
Whether it is COVID-19, creating jobs, health care or a long list of other issues of which there will be many failures before there is success. On the way, there is no one person or group to blame or one person or group who has all the right answers.
It is not President Trump’s fault, it is not the Republicans or Democrats’ fault, it is not the European Union’s fault and it is not a hoax. It is also, not the media’s fault.
One theory had the media using COVID-19 to destroy the economy to make sure Trump doesn’t get re-elected.
Newspapers, television and radio stations are businesses just like the local coffeehouse, grocery store or farm implement dealer. Some are bigger than others, just like your local businesses. A destroyed economy will impact the media just as badly as any other business.
There is a long road to travel down before we get through COVID-19. We will get there.
However, if you, or your business, ignore the advice of the CDC, there is a good chance a figure of blame will be pointed toward you or your business. The virus cannot be selfishly dismissed. With COVID-19, there is so much unknown, but to ignore the problem and the CDC’s recommendations is blind stupidity.
Anything we can do to help keep it out of our area, slow it down and protect those around us, we must do.
The virus might be gone in a few months, but the impact on people and communities will linger for years. Our business landscape will change, some businesses will survive. Others will not. And it will take years to rebuild the economy, not just in America, but across the world.
To survive and rebuild we must avoid the desire to play the blame game. Instead, we need to honestly look at what we did right and what we should have done differently so the next time something like this happens we will be better prepared.
Pointing fingers will not help anyone, instead it will only slow us down and cripple our recovery.
Please, don’t stick your heads in the sand and stop playing the blame game.