Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Here’s What You Did Wrong……

I’ve noticed that many people, upon learning about almost any calamity, have a tendency to point out how sufferer was at least partly to blame. (I’ve done the same thing.) Fire, flood, illness, cancer, divorce, conflict, mechanical failure, burglary, broken pencil, you name it–many of us can quickly see how it could have been prevented. The implication being that it wouldn’t have happened to us, wise, cautious and savvy people that we are.

We may be right, but such an approach tends to block other responses that reflect a more caring nature. Recently I heard someone say, about a home accident, “How tragic! I’ve done the same thing myself and never thought anything bad would happen. I’m going to let this be a lesson to me so I don’t have to go through what they’re dealing with.”  It sounded refreshingly empathetic and completely devoid of sanctimonious blame! 

Try it sometime soon: When someone tells you about a problem they have had, an illness they are going through or a situation that frustrates them, focus your thinking on understanding, rather than mentally shaking your head at how they brought it all upon themselves. You might not be completely successful, but it will be good self-discipline.

May 17th, 2011 Posted by | Keeping On!, Life and Work | 7 comments


  1. Good idea!I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. When I need a boost, I come here. 🙂

    Comment by denisek | May 17, 2011

  2. Dear Tina, I’ll use this in the coming week as a devotional. You’ve touched on a subject I haven’t thought much about before now, but I can see how it is needed. Blessings to you….you’re in our prayers daily.

    Comment by Don R. | May 18, 2011

  3. Dear Tina, thank you so much for the wonderful information about church security. Also, I wanted to tell you that I enjoy your articles. This one reminded me of the three men who came to visit Job and put the blame on him for everything that happened. (Job’s Comforters.)

    Comment by dolly53 | May 18, 2011

  4. Hi! I started reading the things on your website last week and still have a lot left to read. Could I suggest a couple of topics: 1. Career Development 2. Getting along with problem coworkers. 3. Work-Life Balance. Just a thought! JG

    Comment by CRPD149 | May 18, 2011

  5. Ain’t this the truth? My sister was in an accident, not her fault, and the most common topic of conversation about it has been how she could have prevented it. This also applies to all the other things where people act like they would NEVER do the things that other people have done. Sure they wouldn’t. (Rolled eyes)

    Comment by Roger | May 22, 2011

  6. I think we all want to feel that we can avoid the terrible things that happen to other people. So, when we talk about how they brought problems on themselves or how they could have avoided something, we can feel like we have some protection from bad things in life because we wouldn’t have done what they did.

    Comment by Second Chance | May 22, 2011

  7. This is one awesome article/post.Really thank you! It says something I’ve thought about myself, especially when you read forums where everyone thinks they know how a victim could have and should have avoided being a victim.

    Comment by F.C. | January 16, 2012

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