I will begin today’s blog with two paragraphs from Brene Brown’s unknown tome I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) on that verboten subject, Shame. The chapter it is form is entitled Practicing Compassion in a Culture of Blame: Get It Here, Great Read.
“This is YOUR fault! This is all MY fault! You’re to blame. I’m to blame. We are a culture obsessed with finding fault and assigning blame. Holding ourselves or others accountable is a good thing, but blame and accountability are very different. I think the difference between accountability and blame is very similar to the relationship between guilt and shame> Like guilt, accountability is most often motivated by the desire to repair and renew – it is holding someone responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions.
On the other hand, we often use blame to discharge over=whelming feelings of fear and shame: “This is painful – who can I blame? I’ll blame you! You are bad and this is your fault.” Inherent in holding ourselves or others accountable for our behaviour is expecting change or resolution. Like shame, blame shuts us down and it is not an effective tool for change.
So what is the opposite behaviour we could utilise, we travel to the land of Nepal and visit one of the greatest human beings, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. This is the person that instantly comes to mind when the words and actions of compassion are uttered. Mind you I was a practising Tibetan Buddhist for Eight years and lead 4 hours of calm abiding meditation and diety practice for five years every Sunday.
So what has the world said about practising compassion over the journey. Here are a few of HHDL comments and the rest:
1. His most famous quote on the subject, by a long way. Features across the planet.
2. Got to love this acronym C.A.R.E, replace God with your favourite entity, for me it is Gaia: Unstoppable.
3. Looks like old school crayon writing, but what a question.
4. What is your Bodhi tree: True Power.
5. This powerful image says it all really, no comment.
6. Some world leaders have forgotten this: Killing In The Name Of.
7. Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West.
8. Life a simple life, his Holiness rocks: Who You Really Are.
9. The first step, Self Love 101.
10. Repeat after me, we are not alone: Is This Love.
11. Why this, I just loved this image.
12. A bit difficult to read for us bespectacled folk, but very insightful: Morning Has Broken.
13. Pick it up in your hands and offer it, love.
14: We are one day away from the worldwide school strike for the climate crisis, One of my slogans best describes this event: It’s Up To Us, Because We Can, It’s Our Time: Big Yellow Taxi.
15. And for our final lesson, we go to the good old USA, American-born multi-genre author Aberjhani (born July 8, 1957, in Savannah, Georgia) is a historian, columnist, novelist, poet, artist, and editor. Although well known for his blog articles on literature and politics, he is perhaps best known as the co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance and author of The River of Winged Dreams. The encyclopedia won a Choice Academic Title Award in 2004.
I will finish with some comments from the interviews Brene did in relation to shame:
- “She’s Chinese or something – you know, she’s smart.”
- “She’s Indian, They’re super rude like that.
- “She’s so closed-minded – I can’t stand old people.”
- ” I think she’s like that because she was raped a couple of years ago.”
- “It won’t hurt her feelings- She’s the sweet grandma type.”
- “I don’t think she’s mad, she’s just got that whole angry black thing going on.”
- “Her boyfriend is from Pakistan – she’s probably not allowed to go out.”
How would you answer the questions that had these type of answers occur?
Our playlist today contains some classic tunes and if I don’t say so myself, the best obscure track so far. We start with Sia, then the unknown Emily Ebert, great song. One of the great rock anthems from Rage Against the Machine is next. We then enter the spiritual world with a tune from Kirtana. We go back a century for the last three numbers. Bob Marley, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell end this beautiful playlist: At Our Core, We Are Love and Light!!!
So, we have discussed our penchant to blame when life becomes hard and the compassion practised by His Holiness. One of Brene’s lines sums up the choice for me: – it is holding someone responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions. To me, compassion allows for this, and blame does not. It behoves us to walk alongside Love and Respect For All, Everybody Included. Until next time, my dear friends. If you are enjoying reading these blogs of mine, sign on to receive them in your inbox on the right-hand side of the blog.