It’s Thursday. Page three already in Chapter 11 in my Opportunity book. And you know what?
I can’t wait for Friday! I cannot wait for this week to be over. I’m not usually one to wish my week away, but this week…..yeah, so ready for it to be over.
You want to know why? Several things actually have contributed to my crankiness but there is only one source. People. That about sums it up. So if you arrived at my blog expecting to find something lighthearted or heartwarming today, you might want to stop reading now. You can go ahead and click out of here, I won’t know and I won’t hold it against you.
Today I’m tired of being irritated and I’m going to vent. And I’m not making any excuses for it.
My fellow human beings can truly be annoying. My fellow human beings can be extremely disappointing. My fellow human beings have the ability to irritate me, anger me, and make me want to throw up my hands in disgust and say, “That’s it. I’m done with that.”
Why is it that when someone has done something oh, so very wrong, excuses are made for their behavior? Pick one:
- “He’s just a product of his poor upbringing.”
- “She doesn’t know any better.”
- “He has issues that make him feel uncomfortable.”
- “She comes from a very disadvantaged family.”
- “His problem is [insert whatever here]. That’s why he can’t control his behavior.”
You know what I hear when I hear these explanations? Excuses.
So what is the excuse for someone to willingly prowl up and down a city street in the darkness to deliberately slash parked automobile tires for a Halloween “prank?” This happened to oldest daughter’s car this week. And the culprits, who will never be brought to justice, didn’t just slice one of her car tires but three and dozens of other cars were damaged as well.
What is the excuse for being completely disrespectful and defiant to someone trying to help you? This happened to me somewhere this week, but I’m not able to share the details.
What is the excuse for stealing someone’s credit card number and running up huge purchases on that person’s card? This happened to my middle daughter and a friend of ours.
What is the excuse for two teenage girls getting into an argument on a social media network which escalated into physically mauling one another? This happened this week and was reported on the news.
What is the excuse for road rage? Or harassment? Or physical abuse? Or theft? Or murder? Turn on your television, your computer or read your newspaper and more than likely, those things have happened in your neck of the woods this week.
There are no excuses. We all make our own choices. And we need to take responsibility for our actions.
I’m reminded of a movie from a few years ago, The Pursuit of Happyness, based on the real-life story of Chris Gardner. According to his autobiography, Gardner’s childhood entailed poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy. Even though he never knew his father, lived in foster homes from time to time, he was determined to not let his disadvantaged upbringing define who he was. He knew that “in spite of where he came from, he could chart another path and attain whatever goals he set for himself.”
After a stint in the Navy, he found a job, married and had a child. But his wife abandoned him and his son when their finances took a turn for the worse. He ended up as a single dad, broke, with no job and homeless.
Did he make excuses for the turn his life took? No. He did what he had to do for his son and himself to survive even when that meant eating in soup kitchens and sleeping in public restrooms and worked hard to learn as much as he could about a profession he dreamed of entering. He persevered until he landed his dream job as a broker without a college degree, limited experience and no connections. And he didn’t blame his circumstances on excuses.
No excuses. I like the sound of that.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” ~ Benjamin Franklin