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Refusing to Get Caught Up in the Blame Game

One of the things Rush Limbaugh is famous for is talking about the influence of the liberal media. He says that for the most part, all the information we get from the media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) is slanted and biased. I want to go a step further with this and say ALL the information we get from anybody is slanted and biased — towards the person delivering the message.

In all conversation, either personal or private, people want to get other people to see things their way. However, if you asked each person if their conversation was slanted toward their own opinion, they’d probably say it was not. Nevertheless, if we examine “normal” conversation as closely as some people like to examine statements made in the media, it would become obvious that all conversation is indeed slanted and biased.

The question that begins to come to the forefront is, “What is gained by telling people that something someone is telling them is slanted and biased?” The main thing that is gained is the attention of the audience. This type of statement infers that you have the TRUTH and that the people you are talking about are trying to distort the truth. No one is better at holding the attention of the masses than someone who is trying to get the TRUTH to them!

Now, if someone stated that they felt people or organizations were attempting to hide the truth from them, most therapists would say that was a paranoid reaction. However, if the same person says the same thing on the radio or television, especially in an entertaining and informative way, we don’t call the person paranoid but a speaker of wisdom. So, we begin to see it’s not what you say about whom that matters. It’s where, when and mainly how someone says it that really matters.

People today are getting this message loud and clear. They are beginning to realize that it is not so much WHAT you say that’s important, but HOW you say it. They are beginning to watch television and listen to the radio with an eye and/or ear toward the subtle messages being presented.

But, the message people are NOT hearing is that they should be learning to THINK FOR THEMSELVES. Instead, they are repeatedly given the message that a particular person or organization is better at understanding the issue and therefore, better at interpreting the truth.

Matter of fact, it seems that if a person states they would like to examine an issue by themselves and come up with their own conclusions, they are put down as one of THEM. Now today, of course, one of the worst people to be is one of THEM. THEM are those who distort the truth and lead people down the road to destruction.

THEM are those who want to live in a different way and have chosen to do it by lying, cheating and stealing from others. It is because of THEM that we need to have other people tell us what the truth is and are unable to distinguish the truth by ourselves.

Now, in therapy, if a person were to state that they were not able to live their life because of the actions of someone or something else, we would say the person is blaming something else for their own unwillingness to take control of their own life.

But, under today’s popular new way of determining the TRUTH, we would have to say that if we blame someone or something else for our problems, we are being responsible citizens and part of the “correct” group. Also under this new plan, it does not seem to matter what person or organization we blame, just as long as we do not take responsibility for any of the problems in our lives.

It is also important in this style of living to have a spokesperson to state all the things we think are wrong and blame it on someone/something else. The amazing thing about these spokes people is the amount of money they end up making by blaming other people and other organizations for the problems of the world. These people have the talent and skill to command the attention of large groups and they are greatly rewarded for their ability.

It would be an easy shot to do the same thing other people are doing and blame the spokes people for the problem I am writing about. Nothing would be gained by taking this approach, however, and there would be no difference between myself and them. The real issue at stake here boils down to being able to think for yourself without getting YOUR truth from someone else.

Here are some ways you can examine issues you are concerned about and discover what you really believe about them:

1) Rather than listening to or watching a program that reports only one side of an issue, make it a point to find a program that reports from at least two different points of view.

2) Join a civic organization that openly and fairly discusses and then works on correcting community problems.

3) Make the effort to go the public library (or surf the web) for background information on an issue that concerns you. Read about that issue from as many sides/positions as you can find.

4) Be willing to look at the major issues in your life from the position of self accountability and responsibility rather than a position of blame.

©  Dr. Roger A. Rhoades
Roger A. Rhoades, D.Min., is a licensed professional counselor, a therapist for more than a decade who is nationally known for his considerable skills in the field. He has worked with all ages and races, worked in psychiatric hospitals, worked in drug & alcohol rehab settings. Dr. Rhoades has extensive training in marriage and family therapy and is considered an authority on relationships.

You might have seen Dr. Rhoades’ appearances on national television shows such as The Montel Williams Show, The Rolanda Watts Show, and Biggers and Summers. Most recently a regular on the Jenny Jones Show, he is America’s most popular talk show counselor.

You may e-mail your request for a consultation with Dr. Rhoades to: TVDoc2@aol.com .