Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Blame

There is a fine line between criticism and blame. Every cell in my body is awash with the DNA of a critic. I can’t look at a computer program without seeing ways it could have been coded better. I can’t look at my lawn without seeing the weeds and the brown spots even when there is only one weed in the entire lawn. I can’t look at my family, my community, my employer, my Church, your Church, your community, your family, or even myself without seeing areas and aspects that need improvement. I am always harder on myself and my immediate circle than I am on those further from my immediate circle. The critic in me is different from most of the people I know, but I know there are many others who also have this particular gene in their DNA.

I try to avoid placing blame when I express criticism. Sometimes blame is appropriate. People who give their word and people who are paid to perform a well defined job function deserve blame when they fail do what they are supposed to do and expected to do. An umpire who makes a bad call in an important baseball game is rightly blamed for the bad call by the losing baseball team. Most of the time, however, blame is inappropriate. People who are doing the best they can and the best they know how to do deserve constructive criticism in order to get better, not condemnation for failing to meet the expectations of the person or group placing the blame.

Most of the media coverage, most of the statements by politicians, most of the comments by the people affected, most of the discussions on talk radio, and most of the blogs have spent more time and effort pointing a finger of blame than honestly and fairly analyzing the Katrina disaster. I plan on spending the next few posts discussing and analyzing Katrina as well as pointing out where the blame should be properly placed.


Teresa said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you for a change, but I don't think that analyzing anything will properly place the blame. Everyone knows that we could've done better and we learn from our mistakes. I don't think that we can place blame on anyone in particular because the blame needs to be on everyone and I am sure that the bulk of the blame is lack of communication. You are right, we can ALWAYs do better, but as in marriage, our jobs, our churches...communication is the key, then we can fix what is broke!!!

David M. Smith said...

Hi Teresa,

Is the change that you wholeheartedly agree with me or is the change that agree with me at all? : -)

I find that I agree with you most of the time. However, I wholeheartedly agree with your last post on questioning what you have always believed. For our faith to grow, we must have at least a partial opening in our mind. There is a delicate balance between questioning some things and questioning everything.

Communication is always important, but not as important as just plain old responsibility. There is some blame to go around in the Katrina situation. I’ll try to get my next post up soon.