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This I Believe - Episode 13

Maggie Lawler
Maggie Lawler is a freshman at Guilderland High School. She is in Mrs. Salamone’s English 9 Honors Class. In her free time, Maggie enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.

Blame Leads to Failure

By Maggie Lawler

This past fall I played for the freshman girl’s soccer team at my high school. We had so much fun everyday at practice and loved spending time with each other. When you are on a team you have to work together and become a family. As everyone knows families fight and blame each other, but blaming is what can tear people apart and really hurt people. Our team learned this the hard way.

My team learned a very hard lesson this past season, and this is how it happened. One October day it was as cold and windy as Antarctica. We had a game at Goff Middle School in Columbia. The field was mud with a few pieces of grass mixed in because it had recently rained a lot. Every time the ball was kicked it would stop right in the middle of the field because of the thick mud. It was a very competitive game. Each team had been fighting as hard as they could. The game was tied 3-3 with only a few minutes left to play. One change in possession could change the outcome of the game. This is how the game changed. The ball went out of bounds, which was hard to tell since there were virtually no visible lines on the field. Our player threw the ball in, and as soon as she released the ball from her hands the whistle blew. The referee said, “The player’s foot went over the line; it is now the other teams throw.” Our team screamed at the referee due to this outrageous call. None of us could even believe this happened. We were so upset we couldn’t even play as a team. The other team threw the ball in and instantly took a shot on goal. When the other team put the ball right in the back of the net, all I could think about was how mad I was at our defense for not trying. I knew the skill of our team and I knew that our defense had given up. Some of them were walking and the other team dribbled right by them and tied the game. I had so much anger built up, I thought I was going to burst. With that, our team instantly fell apart. When the game ended we couldn’t even look each other in the eye. It was awful. We all packed our bags with frustration by slamming our possessions into our bags and not caring about if we ran into each other. As soon as we packed our bags, we went straight for our rides.

I believe that no matter what mistake a person makes, she is not a failure until she blames someone else. When my team made a mistake and lost the game we weren’t failures until we blamed the referee and each other. My team and I all learned this lesson the hard way. If we had stuck together as a team and the family that we were, we could have come back and won that game. But, I honestly can say that I am one of the reasons we lost that game. I know that all of my thoughts during that last five minutes were completely about blaming my team mates and the referee. “Gosh, why isn’t she running? She’s not even trying! I can’t stand my team, they don’t care if we win or lose! What is wrong with them?” These were all thoughts rushing threw my head during that game. Looking back on it I would give anything to not have blamed my team. We could have won that game if it had not been for blame.

I don’t think that anyone in life can truly say that they have never blamed anyone, because I know that I do it on a daily basis. I blame my teachers if I do bad on a test; I blame my parents for not getting me to practice on time; and I even blame my brother if I do something wrong so he will get in trouble. Making mistakes is part of human nature, but blame and failure are something that we choose to create. We ourselves are creating the things that tear us apart.

After that game this fall, our team took a turn for the worst. We didn’t feel like the family we were. The bonds we had collapsed because we kept blaming each other for our mistakes. We dreaded going to practice because we didn’t want to have to spend time together. That season we went 6-8-1. With the skill that was on that team we could have and should have gone 9-5-1. We were the ones creating our own failures.

Our team learned the hard way that blame can make us fail. I learned this lesson and it certainly has helped me. Now that I know what blame can do, I try not to blame anyone at all. Sometimes it is very hard, but no matter how hard, I still try not to blame people. Instead of blaming people, I try to put myself in their shoes. We control our own successes and failures, so it is up to us to decide our own future.


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