When conflict happens, it is natural to want to point the finger at the other party emphasizing what “they” need to change. Perhaps blaming is a defense mechanism or simply an easy way out. No matter how we label it, this strategy seems to be ineffective in making sustainable change in our personal lives and in our communities. Finger pointing also over-simplifies what is often a much more complicated and systemic problem.

If we are willing to entertain the idea that finger pointing doesn’t work, then we can shift our attention to the question: “what will?”

Personal reflection and accountability is the answer. The only thing that we have control over is our ourselves, so naturally, this is the mechanism for change.

We are given opportunities to practice this all the time. If you don’t like an interaction that you have with a loved one; consider your role in this dynamic and choose to do something differently to improve or solve the issue. If something tragic happens in your community; consider what personal action you can take to improve the issue. As mentioned before, many situations are complicated with many variables at play. The easiest thing to do is point the finger, judge, or talk about how “they” need to do things differently. The invitation here is to see how you can be an active part of the solution within your relationships and in your life – and, who knows, this may even encourage others to do the same.