Who’s to Bless and Who’s to Blame?

 Broken rules are all the same
To the broken or the breaker
Who’s to bless, and who’s to blame

Kris Kristofferson

I always understood the song to be about who gets the blessing and who gets the blaming, but recently, I’ve begun to understand the lyrics as being who is doling out the blessing and the blame when faced with sorting out who the rule breaker is and who was broken by the break in the rules.

Who gets to decide who is blessed and who is blamed?

Certainly the person breaking rules and causing harm has taken it upon themselves to blame the broken and taken the blessing or permission to do so upon themselves.

So the broken has the choice of being broken and ground down, or to demand a blessing and that the broken rule be mended and the breaker taken to task, and attain a blessing – a corrective action – while shifting blame to it’s more proper bearer – the breaker.

In that sense, each of us the blesser/blamer and the question becomes one of which role we assign or impose upon other people – do we blame them or bless them? Can we find a way to not break rules and work within them so no one has to be blamed or blessed?

Or is it in the breaking or challenging of rules that blessing can occur, to take authority, entitlement and privilege upon ourselves, right or wrong? And thus be blessed or blamed depending on the outcome of our rule breaking, rule making or outright  rule?

If winners write history, then who is blessed is clearly those who seek to rule, if they are successful – and blamed if they are not.

In many ways it comes back to self-esteem, confidence and worst of all certainty of purpose and meaning – as uncomfortable as the idea of breaking someone else to your will, it seems preferable to be the breaker than the one broken.

Unless you cannot be so sure, so certain, then the idea of responsibility for breaking people is totally abhorrent, in which case, being broken is little different than normal conformity, inauthentic and unexamined.

Living inauthentic and unexamined lives is the ignorance that is bliss – and being broken is to live in full awareness, conscious of the break, the injustice, the imposition. But to be broken does not mean defeated, it does not mean without resources or resilience, broken is the incentive to stand and correct the problem – there is strength in being broken, only when you are broken can you understand your values and meaning and become renewed, phoenix-like – stronger than before – to become the breaker of the status quo and remake the rules – to fight for a new and better day.

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