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The Other Guy is Always at FaultNov 10, 2010

The Other Guy is Always at Fault

While reading a Dale Carnegie book back in the day, I came upon a section that says no one criticizes himself for anything - it's always the other guy's fault. It cited examples, one of which is John Dillinger, public enemy #1. He has killed many at the drop of a hat, but sincerely believed he was a kind-hearted man who was misunderstood by the public. My own life experience somehow underscores that. Here's a few:

The yoga episode - I was teaching a yoga class for free to friends. The participant who has the key to the room was always late despite repeated reminders to come on time. The frustration mounted until I reached my tipping point - I just left and went back home. When she arrived and was told I went home because she was always late, the quick reply was that I was unfriendly and intolerant.

Thought Bubble: Yeah, sure. It's not about her being late, but about me being intolerant.

The student who got 5 - while teaching at UP (University of the Philippines), I had one student who never showed up for class. At the end of the semester, he asked me to give him a passing mark, a 3. I was generous. I said if he could pass the test, he'll get his 3 despite his absences. He openly cried telling me he couldn't pass it anyway. He continued crying, following me wherever I went, begging and begging for a 3. His game plan was to wear me out by tailing me wherever I went. I was thinking to myself, this is the sorriest loser I've ever known - completely devoid of any self-respect. Someone more deserving did not get a chance to study in UP because this loser got the slot, wasted the opportunities, and now he wants a free ride by getting a 3 knowing fully well he didn't learn anything because he never showed up for class.

Years later, I bumped into him again. We had a common friend. He whispered to our common friend, "That guy gave me a 5!".

Thought Bubble: Yeah, right. I'm a bad guy for giving him a 5. But he never criticized himself for not learning anything because he never showed up for class. When I hear the word loser, he comes to mind.

Hey, I'm not prancing here posing as a victimized goody-two-shoes. I'm just saying no one criticizes himself for anything - it's always the other guy's fault. With my blinders, I'm sure I've acted no differently on many occassions.

--- TheLoneRider


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