Tuesday, April 17, 2007


When I read the headline that was plastered all over today, 'YOU MADE ME TO DO THIS', coming from 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, it struck an unpleasant chord in me.

I work with youth ages 16 - 24, many of whom come from a background of disfunctional families and abuse. It is common for them to have a lot of anger over the hand they have been dealt in life, much as it appears Cho Seung-Hui did. And that's understandable. The problem, from my perspective, comes when they take NO responsibility for what exists in their lives. It is so easy to view themselves as the innocent victims of circumstances, and of powers beyond their control. Then it becomes habitual to look outside of themselves to place BLAME for anything that is not the way they want it. The attitude then becomes, "You made me do this" to excuse any behavior, from being irresponsible in daily life activities, to being verbally abusive, to going on a shooting rampage.

And the basic belief at the core of that is one of powerlessness in one's own life. And that is a very frustrating belief system to live with. Humans try to soothe themselves with belief in an external Creator, or Deity, who they can petition to for help or protection. But that is still placing the power outside of oneself. If things go right, or things go wrong, the credit or the blame can go to the Deity. This is a belief system of limitation.

I have come to believe that limitation is NOT the truth of who we are. I believe WE are the Creators of our own lives. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful- all of it is our creation. We are the Cause. Everything we experience is the Effect. There is no OUTSIDE source of power acting on our lives. The BEST explanation of this concept I've found is in Robert Scheinfeld's book, Busting Loose From The Money Game .