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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

The Blame-Game: A Favorite National Tragedy

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 13th 2011

politicsIn the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shootings, the front lines of the LA Times today said:

“Reporting from Tucson and Los Angeles — 

President Obama, facing the challenge of consoling Arizona and uniting the nation, urged Americans on Wednesday not to point fingers of blame but to "expand our moral imaginations" and to "sharpen our instincts for empathy."

It continues to amaze me when step outside of my own immediate reactions of blaming others, how childish and ineffective this reaction really is.

On the radio, television and around the dinner tables, Democrats were blaming Sarah Palin, Republicans were shooting back at the Democrats, in a reactionary game of offsetting the pain of this tragedy. It’s like each person said, “I don’t want to feel this, let me put it off on this other person.”

A time like this calls for empathy and compassion and then from there we can gain a bit of perspective and look to see if we need a bit more mindfulness around certain slogans that are played all over the media.

But really, after so many people have been injured and have died by violence, do we really need more violence in that moment?

Blame is a reaction out of fear and discomfort, but never serves any greater purpose.

Sometimes I wish the people who serve as our representatives for this country could really internalize that message and stop throwing sand at each other in the sand box.

That’s just not what a country in mourning needs. It’s that simple.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Blame? - Sam - Jan 15th 2011

Serious question...How does one not blame? What does one do instead; or at least after; as not to get stuck on "it's your fault"

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