I had the opportunity to re-read 1 Nephi 17 this past week. What a great chapter! We have a dichotomy of two very different philosophies of life. Nephi, the younger brother, acknowledges God’s hand in everything and is thankful and even rejoices in the hardships his family experienced. His older brother, Laman, who experienced the same hardships, plays the blame game. He summarizes their hardships with this statement, “We might have been happy.” If only this and if only that. We can’t always choose what life will throw at us, but we can choose our response.
So, I thought I would try it Laman’s way. I’m going to play the blame game.
First of all, I blame my father for my fair, freckled skin that I should use SPF 1000 whenever I venture out into the sun. He has lived with skin cancer for many years which means it’s pretty inevitable that I will also get it. I also blame him for me being a loyal customer of Clairol before I turn 40.
I blame my mom for my thick, short hair and my fat cheeks that crowd out my eyes when I smile. I also blame her for my ahead-of-its-time sense of humor that often only I get.
I blame my Grandma Lee for my height. 5’2” really? I couldn’t make it to at least 5’4”? I also blame her for my no-chin.
I blame my Grandma T. for my superstitions. Rationally, I don’t believe in any of that silliness, but I still can’t let an empty rocking chair rock.
I blame my brother for me being a tom-boy growing up. I was the girl who would rather play with cars than with dolls. I also blame him for my deafness. He used to like to listen to his music LOUD in his truck.
I blame my nemesis for this heavy grudge I carry and won’t let go.
I blame my August birthday for me being a late bloomer. I was always one of the youngest in my class.
I blame the high cost of tuition for the reason I only have a general Associate of Arts degree.
I blame my year on Paxil for making me fat. I maintain it slowed my metabolism down and my weight gain is not because I am getting older. I also blame it for my vertigo. My balance is completely off. I can’t even ride a bike anymore.
I blame the rain for my dirty car. Despite the fact it’s been over two weeks since the last cloud burst.
I blame the television for wasting my time and leaving me with a zero attention span.
And finally, the reason I’m still single? Volleyball. I hate volleyball and never played when all the singles frequently got together to play.
The blame game isn’t as fulfilling as I thought. Instead of feeling a greater sense of freedom, I felt less free as I became more of a victim. Is it any wonder Laman wasn’t a happy individual? It’s very hard to be happy when one feels like he or she has no control over life. Accountability may not always be easy, but it can lead to a more satisfying life.