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No-Blame in a Blaming World - a Story

Imagine a world in which people don’t blame each other just because they don’t feel any urge to blame. They haven’t experienced blaming as children, so it’s just not on their radar! In this imaginary “No-Blame World” the misbehavior of children or teenagers or adults is just a signal they don’t yet understand something about this place or activity. There’s no way it’s about being “good” or “bad”. In fact in No-Blame World, the labels good and bad aren’t used!

In No-Blame world, people are keen to offer help, so when they see that someone obviously doesn’t know how to behave in a particular place, No-Blamers just think “oh, they don’t know what to do here yet” and they help that person as best they can to learn to be relaxed, at ease and effective in the situation.

With people who’ve grown up in No-Blame World, learning and teaching are very easy, because when they go to a new place or do a new thing they trust people to help them to learn what they need to know.

A group of people born in No-Blame World will get on really well with each other very quickly, even if they’ve just met or some of them don’t know much about what they’re doing. It’s really easy and natural for no-blamers to learn from each other no matter what their age or skill difference. It’s so simple! One person knows something, the other one doesn’t. There’s no shame or blame for not knowing, so why should there be any issue when the one who knows helps the one who doesn’t? The other feature of No-Blame World is that the inhabitants greatly enjoy helping people to learn new things. Equally No-Blamers enjoy learning new things themselves. In fact No-Blamers are “addicted” to helping people and to being helped. They love both sides of this learning game so they’re always looking for chances to play!

Sound like Utopia?

Maybe it is…lets explore it a little more…..

Blaming worlds are places where, when you do what other people like or approve of, they call you “good” and praise you, and when you do something they don’t like or disapprove of, they call you “bad” and blame you.

On blaming worlds, people feel bad when they don’t know something, because they are told from when they are babies that they are not as good as the people who do know that thing. This happens even if the ones who know are much older or the ones who don’t know have never had a chance to learn the thing anyway. On blaming worlds, the ones who know something or have a skill, feel superior to the ones who don’t know or don’t have so much skill. “Blame-Worlders” are scared of not knowing something because it makes them feel bad and another blamer will blame them for not knowing (even if there was no way they could have known anyway).

Blame-Worlders you see are always trying to avoid blame from others and to give blame to others. Blame-Worlders are addicted to blaming and feeling blamed. The funny thing is that one of their main ways of stopping other people blaming them is to blame themselves first! So they will blame themselves when they don’t know something or can’t do something. It’s funny that they do that because blaming themselves is painful too. But most painful of all is being publicly blamed. Having someone else hear you being blamed or joining in and blaming you too is terribly painful to Blame-Worlders. Because they have learned that being blamed is the most horrible awful thing that can happen to you, for Blame-Worlders blaming themselves in advance, and maybe heading off the blame of multiple people, seems to be worth it. By blaming yourself first you might stops others knowing about something “blameworthy”. The trouble with this is that Blame-Worlders feel they have to keep blaming themselves over and over in case someone finds out and blames them. So over all Blamers usually get much more blame from themselves than from anyone else!

All this makes it very hard for Blamers to learn anything. First they have to hide that they don’t know it already, because it’s shameful not to know and they will attract blame for it. So the one who doesn’t know something has a dilemma, it’s a risk showing they don’t know and it’s a risk if they don’t find out before it gets out that they don’t know. If a Blamer does ask for help, the Blamer they ask will want to blame them for not knowing, more than they want to teach them. When Blame-Worlders do teach, they always mix it up with blaming, so the learner, who is also a Blame-Worlder, can’t learn much because they are busy blaming the teacher for blaming them!!!!!!! It gets very complicated this blaming thing on Blaming World.

Things get interesting when No-Blamer and Blame-Worlders meet.......

Let’s start with imagining a Blame-Worlder visiting No-Blame World.
The Blame-World visitor doesn’t know how to behave, but hides that fact so as not to be blamed. The No-blamer doesn’t blame people for not knowing anyway. No-Blamers find it a bit confusing that a Blaming person behaves 'strangely' when they don’t know something. Why do they pretend to know what to do when they obviously don’t. The No-blamer naturally points out the things than the Blame-World visitor doesn’t seem to know, but not very effectively because they find it hard to see what the Blamer needs to know, because they are hiding it. The Blaming visitor feels bad, even though they’re not blamed, because they think they’re going to be blamed any minute and anyway they always feel bad if they don’t know something that other people know. Basically that means Blamers are always tense and unhappy when they visit a new place or do anything new. The overall outcome in this scenario then, is that the Blamer is unhappy; the No-Blamer is neutral – not as happy as they would be if they could properly share their knowledge, but not blaming anyone for that, neither the visitor nor themselves, they easily let it go and are really quite unaffected.

Now let’s imagine the opposite visit:…..

A No-Blame Worlder visits Blaming World.
Being a No-blamer, when they don’t know what to do, they simply ask. The Blamer says (or looks) how stupid the No-Blamer is for not knowing. The No-Blamer visitor assumes the Blamer has a good reason for making these disparaging statements or gestures, so doesn’t blame anyone for them. The No-Blamer learns what they can from this blaming person, then moves on to another person, until they find out what they need to know. The Blamer may be frustrated by the No-Blamers questions, may blame them for not knowing, will be likely to go through all sorts of reactions to the No-Blamers ‘ignorance’ or ‘annoying’ questions, or just the hassle of having to deal with strangers that she shouldn’t have to deal with etc. Does the No-Blamer get frustrated in Blaming world? Not really, you see they don’t do blaming at all, so who or what would they get frustrated with? Not a person, not the system, not themselves, not the weather, not God….. So again the outcome seems to be that the No-blamer is calm and fully able to do whatever is most helpful and possible in the existing circumstances ……. and the No-blamer, what is their experience like? What do you think?

Does this story sound like any place you know?

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