In the early tribal cultures a ritual was performed in which all the sins of the tribe were symbolically transferred to a goat. The goat was then driven off into wilderness. It was a way to expel the sins by transferring them to the goat. This practice is continuing and is called scapegoatism. There is no goat. There are only people; the sin of one is transferred to the other. Scapegoatism is the easiest of all hunting expeditions. When you see an accused smiling, you know he has identified a scapegoat to stomach his blame.
Take this situation: You are not happy the way your boss treats you. You can’t kick your Boss but you certainly can kick your faithful dog (he could be a human) when you reach home. The unfortunate dog did not deserve the kick, vainly barks for some time, but being faithful, comes back to you to get another kick.
Scapegoats are like punching bags. They are good at absorbing the emotional outbursts of others. Every family has a scapegoat. Because of the family scapegoats, the family seemingly appears emotionally stable and healthy. The family scapegoats accept blame in the larger interest of the family. They happily do the donkey’s work. We often choose the weak as a scapegoat. We don’t give them enough recognition in maintaining the stability of the family.
Among the scapegoats, Mark Twain said, the most popular is providence.