One of the more amusing things about looking through various discussions of vehicles is the way that one can blend one’s own personal experience with one’s knowledge. It is admittedly difficult to prove anything from anecdotal experience, because no matter how long we live our sample size of anything is going to be way too small to be statistically significant. Considering the size of samples that are necessary to come to a mathematically significant understanding of any issue, we simply do not have enough personal experiences ourselves with cars, spouses, jobs, or anything else of great importance to us for us to be able to draw the sort of insight out of those experiences where we have confidence that our experiences are representative. And that is especially true because of our tendency to lack self-knowledge about our own personal role in the difficulties we may have in those areas, where we may have considerably more insight into our own patterns of thought and behavior than in the extrapolations from our limited experience we can make on reality as a whole.
Even so, one can supplement one’s own personal experience with study and come to better conclusions than one could from one’s own personal experience alone, and come to at least a tentative understanding of the patterns and common threads that run through various situations of the same family. There is a somewhat impolite saying that says that one can run into an asshole first thing in the morning but that if one runs into assholes all day, than you are probably the asshole. Likewise, one can drive an incredible series of lemon vehicles and ponder the extent to which one has terrible taste in vehicles or one is not very good as a driver and owner. A great deal of the issues that we have to deal with in life come in the intersection between our desire to avoid blame and the desire of other people to force upon us some sense of responsibility for what happens in our life, and trying to gauge what is just between our desire to avoid blame and the desire of others to affix it upon us.
Ultimately, I think a great deal is lost when the focus is on blame. The question of where responsibility lies for problems is a broad and complicated one, and ultimately a great deal of the discussion is irrelevant. There may certainly be psychological benefits in being able to blame evil people and broken systems for so much of what is wrong in this world, and other people feel superior by seeking to blame us for whatever misfortune and difficulty we may suffer. Ultimately, though, this little matters. Regardless of who or whether someone else or we ourselves are to blame for what we experience, we have to cope with reality or suffer the consequences for not dealing with it. Frequently, our desire to blame or to avoid blame tend to distract us from the worthwhile task of dealing with reality. We only have so much attention, time, and energy to do what needs to be done, and most of us could agree that if we used all of those better we could do more than we do at present, even if such a thing could never be admitted to anyone else.
From the time I was very young I thought that blame was a waste of time. The issue was finding out how to resolve the matter–which included what went wrong in the first place and doing better the next go around. (Mind you, this was my own little world. I’m certain that God was in charge of it.) I like to drill down to the least common denominator, and there you have the core of the issue. Drill, Baby, drill! The rest is landfill.
Yes, I agree that finding out what went wrong and dealing with it are important, but that blame is generally pretty pointless.