Blaming others

By Paulo Coelho

We have all at one time or another heard our mother say of us: ‘My child did this or that on some impulse, but, deep down, he’s a very good person.’
It is one thing to live one’s life blaming ourselves for thoughtless actions that led us astray; guilt doesn’t get us anywhere and it can even remove any stimulus to improve. It is quite another thing, however, to forgive ourselves for everything; that way we will never be able to set ourselves on the right path again.
There is also common sense, and we should judge the results of our actions and not the intentions behind them. Deep down, everyone is good, but that’s irrelevant.
Jesus said: ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’
An old Arab proverb says: ‘God judges a tree by its fruits, not by its roots.’

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  1. For a tree to bear fruits, it has to have strong roots, if not, then the tree is weak and wilting and cannot bear fruits.

    Yet, it can have strong roots but no water, and bear no fruits, it’s all relative.

    Furthermore, in the case of having strong roots and no water, eventually it will loose it’s roots too and making my first sentence correct.

    I don’t like the term ‘God judges’ I don’t think so. I think there are natural consequences for things and actions, but there is not a God or Goddess who passes judgment.

    That terminology induces fear.

  2. Christine says:

    I disagree with the statement that you should judge others by the fruits of their labor. I know many people who have worked very hard and still turned up empty handed. I think it is important to look at people’s intentions…it shows you what is in their heart.

  3. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,

    I think:
    If you true to yourself,
    if you always look inside your soul for answers,
    then you will always know if what you do is good or bad.

    It takes courage to blame yourself for what you do.
    as Jesus said:

    so according to that,
    if you lie – you will always feel bad, feel guilty inside,
    you cannot be free!!
    So it’s always up to you.


  4. bring me horizon says:

    guilt is such a negative feeling…
    we must learn our lessons and throw it away…

  5. jo says:

    I think that as children lack the luxury of wisdom they can be forgiven.

    I think that when we (an adult) make the wrong choice knowing deep down that it is the wrong choice – then that should not be forgiven as we know better. Stupidity is no excuse. We may have been blinded by a strong emotion at the time but that is not excusable if our actions have resulted in a person (including ourselves) being hurt.

    I completely agree that for an adult (or a child that does know better) it’s consequences that are of far greater importance than good intentions.

  6. Angela Blake says:

    Funny, I am walking through this forest right at this moment, and at times th light becomes moggy and blurred – much like twilight. I needed a loved one to see that boundaries are important and need to be respected and that it is us that allows or gives permission to others to cross them. He could not see that he gave permssion for another to make a stand on his behalf. I could have remained a victim of another’s actions, but know that I too carry the same responsibility of my own…. Your insight into blame is a soothing balm on my pain. I agree with your insight wholeheartedly. We cannot always expect others to know our intentions, we have to give thought then rather to what the possible outcome of these actions may be, will they cross lines into territory where rights of admission are reserved? we need to consider this, I think, and if we are always truthful with ourselves, and are consatntly respecting our selves and our own boundaries from a higher plane, then I think we have the capacity to be sensitive the space of others. And so, we move from a space of blaming others, to a space of taking ownership where if it was us that made a mistake, we can acknolwedge it, own it, and learn from it – separate from the external other. One’s best can only ever be to stand for the truth and honour of one’s heart, is that not so?

  7. aditya says:

    Does it sound like double standards ? we should forgive our enemies but not ourselves ! but as always u r right, it pays to have double standards, more stringenet for ourselves than we have for others !!!

  8. jenny says:

    hmm, then, what should we do? i think blaming ourselves is ok as long as it can help us to change ourselves into better persons. because as you said, if we always forgive ourselves, we will never come back to the right path.

    well i’m currently blaming myself for breaking my ex. he has got another gf at the moment but i want him back. and he told me that he was still somehow angry with me because i broke his heart.. that makes me feel really guilty and everyday i’m kinda saying to myself, “how stupid you were, breaking him up, now you wanna get him back!” hehe.

  9. Tania Chilby says:

    we can choose to stay victims and blame our selves or others and never move on staying stuck in the blame , or like you said we can forgive ourselves for having done or said or behaved in that manner and just accept that we did the best at the time given the circumstances… blessings Tania and yes everyone is good deep down..

  10. melodee ray says:

    the worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.
    -ayn rand

    take care mr coelho:)