September 29, 2010

Passive Behaviors, Shirking Blame: "The knife Did It" and "It's the Economy, Stupid!"

Recent news, if you read the riff-raff stuff below the fold, included reports of an actor in The 40-Year-Old Virgin under trial for stabbing his girlfriend twenty times. "...he wrongly thought that she was somebody else going after him in the dark."

But Shelley Malil's defense appeared lame. He testified, still confused, of the chaos that broke out when he arrived at his girlfriend's house and discovered her sipping wine with another guy. Feeling threatened by the other, he "mistakenly" slashed his girlfriend, critically injuring her.

He said, "I still can't believe the knife I was holding was responsible for all those injuries."
 (Emphasis mine.)

The editor of my first book told me I needed to stop using passive verbs. "What's a passive verb?" I asked, somewhat stupidly. Anyway, I sure know what passive behavior is. Malil simply "was holding a knife." Which leaves who at fault for the near-fatal injuries?

Reminds me of the foolish Real Housewives of New Jersey gal who spent herself and her husband into $8 million in debt. According to Newark bankruptcy court records, Teresa Giudice and her husband earn $79,000 per year, yet are deadbeats of the worst sort. Still, she blames not her spending on lavish parties, jewels, cars and her designer wardrobe.

Who is at fault? Said Mrs. Giudice, "...due to the economy, my husband's real estate ventures failed despite his hard work." (Emphasis mine.)

The late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D.'s book, "The Road Less Traveled," sat on The New York Times' bestseller list for over ten years!

Peck considered discipline essential for emotional, psychological and spiritual health. Several of the elements of discipline required to sustain and grow to psychological and emotional maturity, he said, were 1) the ability to accept responsibility for oneself and one's actions and 2) a commitment to the truth. 

So easy to pass blame. So obviously stupid to pass it to an inanimate object! And so not healthy, for a deep and whole life.

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