Our Culture of Blame
For most of us, it’s often someone else’s fault—our parents', our teachers', our bosses', etc. For Buddhists, it’s not, because the road to happiness begins with the acceptance of personal responsibility. The Buddhist concept of the “oneness” of life and its environment means that if we want something in our surroundings to change—say, a job or a relationship—we must begin by forging something new in ourselves. You can’t fix others: You’re the only one you can control. In the words of Daisaku Ikeda, president of the international lay Buddhism foundation Soka Gakkai, “our environment is essentially a reflection of ourselves.” Buddhism cuts at the root of Americans' widespread tendency to blame others for our problems.