Better to Help than to Blame.

By Matthieu Ricard on February 26, 2010

Blaming someone is an unjustified simplification of a complex human situation. We may disapprove of the actions or the behavior of someone, but that person himself is not ‟useless” or ‟evil.” No one is intrinsically ‟this” or ‟that” within their being. The fundamental nature of consciousness or pure awareness is neither ‟good” nor ‟bad”: it is simply conscious. The content of the mind is what colors the mind and this content depends on many factors.

The way people think and behave is the result of a web of causes and conditions that are changing naturally. This can be changed further through specific interventions. People are just more or less confused, more or less ‟sick,” in their mind. We need to approach people with the understanding that they are human beings who have gone through countless experiences under the influence of countless circumstances, which have conditioned their way of thinking.

Blame often rises from arrogance and lack of compassion. A physician does not blame his patients, even if they behave in ways that harm their health. Instead, he tries to find ways to cure them, or skillfully helps them change their habits. When someone harms others, he should be prevented from doing so with appropriate and measured means and also helped to change his harmful behavior.
Wholesale blame of a person or a group can lead to contempt, prejudice, and eventually hatred.
So, instead of engraving our judgments about people in stone, we should view them--and ourselves as well--as flowing, dynamics streams that always have the genuine potential for change and goodness.

The world has just celebrated the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from jail. When asked how he could make friends with his jailers during his 27 years in detention, he answered: ”By bringing out their good qualities.” And when asked whether he thought that all people had some good within them, he answered:  ”There is no doubt whatsoever, provided you are able to arouse the inherent goodness.”