An excuse is a reason stuffed with a lie
might as well say you're out of peanut butter
- I ran out of time
- I couldn't find your number
- I tried to call but the cell phone kept dropping
- Nobody told me to do that
- The instructions were only in Spanish
- You didn't say to use soap, you only said get in the shower (child's excuse)
- I was waiting on you to go first or waiting on you to confirm.
- There were too many people there
- I didn't have a choice
- He did it first!!
- and so on...
Excuses, excuses...how frequently do we hear them? Does it happen so much that we are desensitized to it? Have we come to just accept that people will make excuses? I would hope not. The title of this Hub is possibly a quote, although I couldn't find an official source. I know that I can quote my piano teacher from years ago as saying this. In fact, I believe he might have had it on the wall in the waiting area, perhaps on a cross stitch or other crafty thing, to remind us not to bother with an excuse when he asked how much we'd practiced since last week. I can distinctly remember reading those words while I sat one week waiting for the lesson in front of me to finish, I was expected to have mastered a new piece but I hadn't practiced it at all. In my arrogance, I was going to pull it together and he would not notice the lack of practice. However, the fact that i so distinctly remember those moments suggests otherwise.
Whenever I hear someone offering the opportunity to present an excuse I have this strong desire to answer - "because we were out of peanut butter." Thinking of course that it will get a good laugh while I admit that there is no excuse and I was simply wrong. But, without knowing the origin of that answer, it's only funny to me. It came from a sermon given by a youth minister when I was about 14. He spoke at camp and talked about the many excuses he hears when he asks "why haven't you been to church lately" he then went on to explain that he intended to continue to ask this question but he was troubled because he knows he's leading the responder to lie- so he started explaining to others that when he asked, he'd far rather hear that you were out of peanut butter than be told a good lie. At the time, I thought he's just a crazy old man, but as an adult that frequently depends on others to do their task and have other expecting me to get mine done, I've come to fully appreciate this practice.
Whether it is that you didn't practice, you procrastinated working on that assignment and ran out of time, you just didn't feel like being around other people or you were in over your head and didn't ask for help, an excuse really does take away more and increases the failure. When you find a person that will own up to their mistakes, take responsibility, admit that they were wrong and stand to be accountable- you've found someone with integrity. Anyone can spit out the excuse, we've all heard them and likely we've all made them a time or two, but it takes a far bigger person to just say- "You're right, I should have.....and there's no good excuse for not ...(fill in the blank)." If you can't say that then you might as well just say I was out of peanut butter. At least it's not an irritating excuse.
Or better yet....avoid the whole experience, make some time, do that task, complete the assignment, show up at whatever activity it is where you have been requested, give yourself the short workout you deserve and when you simply don't manage to live up to a committment- don't make an excuse! Deal with it, move on and plan better next time. Keep the peanut butter of your lives fully stocked so there's no excuse at all!