We all use excuses from time to time, and of course they may be valid and true. For example: I get to work late because there was an accident on the highway. I pop into my employer’s office and explain my reasons. He excuses me, because he heard the traffic report on the radio and I am seen to be truthful and standing up to my responsibility as an employee. If however, I use traffic as an excuse most of the time (even when I’ve lain in bed just 10 minutes longer, or had partied hard the night before) and my employer believes and excuses me for my late arrival time and again, I have just received a reward for lying. Therefore next time I’m late, the traffic is a super excuse to use. The more I use it, the more I believe it. However if the day comes when I sit at a disciplinary hearing for stealing company time, my excuses are worth nothing except my undoing.
Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing – Steven Grayhm
I think that there comes a point in the excuse-making process where we become so reliant on these excuses that we start to believe them to be the truth – even if the root cause of that excuse was the truth in the first place. With each excuse we receive attention, don’t we? The more we elaborate our excuses the more people lend their ears and offer statements that reinforce our constant excuses that are now our reality.
I propose to you this weekend that whatever the excuse that you have been riding on for years it will be your undoing. Like any behaviour that gives an escape from responsibility or bad consequences and gives a sense of comfort, it can and will become addictive. Which fuels the desire to make more excuses or lies.
We can explain away to our children that we were never there for them because we “had to put food on the table” by spending so much time at work. What happens when we are old and our children never come to visit us because “they are working long hours to put food on their table”?We can use the excuse our bad behaviour by blaming it on too much alcohol and didn’t know what we were saying or doing. When we are fired because we misbehaved at a work party, what then? What happens when your spouse learns of your betrayal and leaves you?We can explain abusing another person by writing it off to having a bad day or being a bad mood. What will you do when your loved ones leave you or you are arrested? How do your excuses work for you then?We can use the excuse of disability, tell the long sad story you know works – but what will you do when people treat you as though you are quite capable and refuse to assist you when they realise that you are a taker?We can excuse our bad manners by using the excuse that we grew up poor or didn’t learn the finer things in life from our parents. When the day comes that others see your parents and realise that although they may not have had the best life, they are respectful and kind – what happened to that excuse?
Do you think that you will eventually come to believe that excuse you use? Do you honestly believe that you are believed? Do you think that after a while the excuse becomes a lie? What happens when you habitually lie, and it comes so easily to you? What happens if you become a compulsive liar? Who will you fool then besides yourself?
I would like to use another quote by Benjamin Franklyn – “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”. Please take some time to think over this and see if you are guilty of riding on a long standing excuse. My wish is that you decide to stop excuses and start truth telling – if you are “man” enough to do that, or are you going to remain a coward?