An interesting debate is underway on one of the online social forums. It is on the question of what needs to be done to former heroes who end up languishing in poverty.
The debate erupted few days ago after some folks suggested that there was need to support one former football player who is now a pauper.
Some members of the forum blamed the government, sports administrators and even the society in general for failing to support former heroes when their prime time is over.
“How can we let our own footballer who entertained us when he was playing for the league champions and even the national team suffer from poverty? We need to do something about his situation?” reasoned one contributor.
The proposal was received with mixed reactions with some supporting it and others opposing it vehemently. The opponents argued that the player in question is to blame for his misfortunes. They observed that the former footballer should bear the consequences of what they called his ‘foolishness’ and ‘carelessness’.
“It is a waste of time to feel pity for this faded star. At the height of his football career, he was notoriously known for womanising, heavy drinking and drug abuse. After squandering his money, he does not deserve our sympathy, let alone our support,” argued one opponent.
He added: “His former team-mates are well off because they never squandered their hard-earned money. Some of them have become coaches while others are running businesses. It does not make sense to support someone who is a victim of his own shoddy decisions.”
As if it was a coincidence, I bumped into the said football player when I was strolling in the streets of Blantyre on Friday and I seized the opportunity to ask him what happened to him to end up in his current situation.
He blamed almost everyone including sports administrators, government officials and football stars for not coming to his rescue.
At the end of our chat, he asked for a K1,000 handout.
“What do you want to do with the K1,000?”
“To buy two packets of beer and some ganja,” he replied.
“What you need is sound advice and not liquor or hemp,” I told him.
Besides the social talk about the footballer who has revolved into a pauper, another talk of the town was the strike which minibus operators and drivers staged on Friday.
Hear this: Minibus drivers were protesting against government’s decision to enforce traffic rules which have been designed to help to reduce road accidents. As expected those on strike were blaming the government for enforcing strict traffic laws.
There are many tell-tale signs that the blame culture is entrenched in this country. We always blame someone for our mistakes and our misfortunes. If you ask some people who are not employed, they will blame someone else including the government for its failure to create employment.
When a road accident occurs on the road, the one driving is quick to blame the other driver, the vehicle or even the government for failing to maintain the road. Many people never take responsibility that they are involved in an accident because of their over-speeding, carelessness or lack of good judgement.
In the education sector, a student who fails an examination is quick to blame the teacher or even lack of books.
In marriages, when a cruel husband beats up his wife, he will go ahead and blame the victim for not understanding him. At the workplace, an underperforming employee who does not get the promotion blames her boss for being unfair.
The long and short of it is that most of the time, we rush to blame others for anything unfavourable that affects us. We fail to take responsibility that we are part of the problems. Some of us have reached the extent of blaming the devil when something has gone and there is no person around to blame.
It’s time when start taking responsibility for some wrong things that happen. When you take responsibility of mistakes, you become part of the solution and you can develop a strategy for averting similar situations in the future.
Albert Ellis, an American psychologist said it well: “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realise that you control your own destiny.”
By the way, if you enjoy blaming others when will you stop that habit and start taking responsibility.