Why We Like To Blame The Gorilla Parents, The Alligator Parents & Everyone Else

When something terrible happens, I noticed that all the blamers seem to surface almost instantly. I was thinking of the parents of the little boy in the city of Orlando who was dragged to his death by an alligator. Is there any bigger nightmare?! People are criticizing them because there is a sign that says “No Swimming” even though the kid was just hanging out near the edge. It really could have happened to anyone. We’ve played on that shore many times. But people really seem to take comfort in assigning blame in these scenarios.

“Blame is the discharging of discomfort and pain.”—Brené Brown

Situations like this freak us out because they are so horrible and make things feel so wildly out of control. I was thinking last night how our first instinct is to try to pin it on someone so we can feel better. We need to feel in control again…I know, let’s blame someone. If the parents are to blame, that means it can’t happen to us because we would nevvvvver do what they did. We would make a waaaay different decision than they did. Except we might not.

Having no control is scary. And that makes us super uncomfortable. So instead of seizing the opportunity for empathy, we get caught up in the blame game. Blame is not the same as accountability. Accountability is expressing a feeling or establishing a boundary and less about judging.

We all play the blame game. Funny animated video about it below.


  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I was very happy to hear the parents in the alligator incident won’t be suing Disney! I agree we often blame the parents. Sometimes they deserve it. 😉
    Note: Comments disabled here. Please visit their blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am sure that Disney offered them or the foundation they’d established a hefty sum so no need to sue. Orlando Sentinel reports, “Asked whether Disney had contributed to the fund, spokeswoman for the family… referred questions to the company.”

    Furthermore, “Disney World provided a statement from president George Kalogridis saying “in the wake of this tragic accident we continue to provide ongoing support for the family.” Disney did not provide further details.”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think also it’s sometimes easier to blame than to have true compassion for others. True compassion forces us to get into the world of those hurting. At the same times it makes us vulnerable – so we avoid it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The “Blame Game” is a harsh game. When I heard about this horrible story as a parent my mind was filled with compassion towards this family. I can’t imagine anyone being able to recover from the loss of a child. Especially under such horrific circumstances, and I certainly don’t think that these two obviously loving parents will ever be free from their own eternal self blame game. They have been punished beyond all human limits, so the idea of adding to their suffering is beyond my comprehension on any human level. Sometimes horrific things happen, and I think the at the very least we could show some love towards one another. G-uno

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. Your commentary on misplaced blame put me in mind of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick and sent me scurrying to shmoop.com where i lifted the following:

    “Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck, “that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous.”

    “Hark ye yet again – the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event – in the living act, the undoubted deed – there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” (36.38-39)
    Both parts of this dialogue contain some of the most important keys to unlocking the theme of revenge in Moby-Dick. Starbuck claim that trying to take revenge on a simple animal, which isn’t capable of hatred or cruelty, is not just stupid—it’s sinful.

    In response, Ahab claims that the entire world has an allegorical or neo-Platonic aspect: all things represent other things and everything happens for a purpose. Much of the tension in the novel relates to this fundamental difference in interpretation: Starbuck sees the natural world as simply there, doing its thing, and Ahab sees it as the tangible representation of “some unknown but still reasoning thing.” At bottom, the issue is whether or not Moby Dick attacked Ahab with “malice aforethought,” as those legal types say.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The world has come to terms of making sure that someone is to be blamed when something bad happens. There are no understanding or empathy from others. Playing the blame game is much easier than looking at oneself’s faults.


  7. Great post! I think it’s absolutely shocking how quick some people are to judge situations these days and are more than happy to smear someone’s reputation all over social media. It’s so gutless and I’m so tired of seeing how quickly people jump on their soap box about a situation they have nothing to do with. Let’s all have a bit of compassion and give people the benefit of the doubt once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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