Whose fault is it?

Because it’s certainly not mine

If you read this column and don’t like it, which one of us is at fault: Me or You?

It could be me, since I came up with the idea, committed my thoughts to written form and then helped put this magazine in front of you.

But it could be you, because you decided to invest your time reading it — I didn’t force it upon you.

Or maybe the fault lies with the editor here at the Advocate who read the column after I turned it in; she must have thought it was OK, because if it wasn’t, she would have prevented it from being published. That way you wouldn’t have had to waste your time reading it.

I received my degree in journalism from Northwestern University; maybe it’s the fault of someone at the school. I took out a student loan to take the writing classes, but if I didn’t learn enough, it’s probably the professors’ fault rather than mine, because I worked pretty hard when I was there. If the professors weren’t good teachers, how could I be expected to learn?

Of course, taking out that loan put a lot of pressure on me; it was hard to concentrate sometimes. Maybe the government and politicians should have made it easier to afford college; it’s not my fault I didn’t have a lot of money.

Speaking of money, my mom and dad could have something to do with this problem, too. When I was growing up, they didn’t encourage me to become a journalist, probably because they didn’t know anyone who made a living writing.

And since they didn’t enthusiastically encourage me to follow my dream, my feelings were hurt, and that put a damper on my motivation to work hard to be a writer, and if I’m not motivated to do something, it’s hard to do it right.

I mean, I don’t see too many people taking responsibility for their actions anywhere — corporate, government or private individuals. All I see in the media is finger-pointing and shoulder-shrugging and excuse-making, and if everyone else can do things that way, I should be able to do the same thing, too.

But you’re diverting my attention here. Let’s reconsider your involvement again: I worked hard on this column, and although I admit this is a departure from what I usually write, shouldn’t I be allowed to try something new from time to time? And shouldn’t you encourage me to do that by giving me positive feedback, even if you don’t really like what I’ve done?

So if it’s not my fault that you don’t like this column, whose responsibility is it to make it better next month?

It could be mine, since I’m the writer, and it’s my job to come up with ideas, but it could be your responsibility to give me another chance even if this column wasn’t what you thought it would be.

Look, all of this has to be someone else’s fault or responsibility, so maybe you should take a good look in the mirror because I can tell you right now, after talking my way through this, I really don’t think any of this is my fault, or my responsibility, and I resent the fact that you’re blaming me …


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