Friday, July 20, 2012

Mr Nobody-The Bastard Did it All!

Anyone recognize the weirdos in this picture from their childrens' books? These are the Mr. Men. You know who you don't see there? Mr. Nobody. Why? Because he's a more recent addition to the crew. Having no concrete evidence for why this is (the series started in the UK in 1971) I would like to speculate on why Mr. Nobody didn't exist back in 1971.


It's because there was no need for Mr Nobody back in 1971. People took freakin' responsibility for the crap they did. They did not, for instance, use all of the plastic wrap in the house for some kind of weird project, throw away the container, not add it the grocery list, and then stare at their mother and say, "I don't know who did that. Nobody, I guess."

See! This is where we meet Mr. Nobody! This guy's life has to be crap! He not only takes the fall for all the bad stuff in our house, he is the ultimate scapegoat in politics, economics and religion.

Anyway, back to 1971. Or at least back to a time when average people did stupid stuff, took a step back, sighed, and said, "Yeah, that was me. I blew it. I'm sorry. It won't happen again because I've learned my lesson."

Am I delusional? Did we ever own up to our mistakes like that? I probably am. I just simply want to know, what's SO bad about making a boo boo? We all do it. Wouldn't it be awesome if we'd all just put on our big girl panties (or briefs I suppose) and just OWN it? Say yes to making mistakes because that's how we learn. And for crap's sake, when someone is trying to teach you a better way to do something, or making a suggestion, or simply offering constructive criticism, don't say- I know. Because if you DID know, you wouldn't need to learn! You'd already be doing it and we wouldn't be having this darn conversation.

In the Utopian society I wished we could live in, people would blow it all the time and instead of Mr. Nobody up there taking the fall, they'd admit they made a mistake. Then, instead of the boss, or supervisor, or co-worker, or even parent, getting mad- they'd just say, "Okay, so you won't do that again will you?" I often wonder if more people would own their mistakes if the wronged party wouldn't freak out about it. Perhaps it is the anticipation of freak out that creates the desire to blame our invisible friend. in which case this is an evil cycle and I'm out here speculating for no purpose.

Think of all the moments of cultural significant when what I like to call the Nobody Clause has been invoked. In the US we're getting closer to election time so we're hearing a lot of it. "Nobody has taken responsibility for the state of our environment." (please don't anyone get their panties in a twist over this one) "There weren't weapons of mass destruction?? Nobody told me that!"

So please, please, think before you try to deny that you've done something wrong and made a mistake. Taking responsibility requires a certain amount of courage. So if someone is trying to do the right thing and avoid invoking the nobody clause, don't chew their head off for it. Let's play nice in the sandbox and maybe, just maybe, we can make it a nicer sandbox for all involved.

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