Published On: Mon, Jul 12th, 2021

Nothing Is Your Fault, Ever

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Commentary “It’s not their fault” is now the automatic response to all kinds of problems. If you don’t agree with this response, you’re condemned as “uncaring” or worse. But is it really caring to cram every problem into the “not-your-fault” mold? Does it really help students to hear that their academic setbacks are “not their fault”? Does it really help an addict, a criminal, a homeless person, a bankrupt person, or a depressed person? No. It doesn’t help because it makes them powerless. The “not-your-fault” mindset tells us not to try because nothing we do makes a difference. But not trying makes things worse. Why is this mindset popular if it makes things worse? The simple answer is that it builds a strong coalition. It’s easy to recruit members into the not-my-fault club, and that makes the club powerful. You can share in its power and resources as long as …

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