Excuses & Justification

Excuses & Justification

Have Excuses and Justification become a way of life in our world today?

Excuses! Face it! We all make them. We, as good, well-meaning people make excuses for our decisions, behavior, lifestyle, children, the way we drive, and almost everything we do. It is always someone else’s fault. Then we justify it with poor childhood, born into a poor side of town, lack of education and bad luck are some of the excuses I hear. We very seldom take responsibility for our actions either good or bad.

Excuses start when we are little children. It is what we hear. They didn’t mean to break that lamp. They are too little to understand. Maybe they are just not hungry. They will eat when they are hungry. It’s OK if they run around when we are sitting at the table. When they grow older they will understand. They didn’t realize how fast they were going. They must have forgotten their watch and that’s why they are late.

As adults, we bring home a pen from work and give it to our child. The child asks how much did it cost? The answer is the company has lots of them. The next day the child is caught taking something from the neighborhood store and repeats what you said, “The Company had lots of them.”

When we justify the excuse, it is the same as a mistruth. The child is disciplined for the exact same thing they saw the adult do. The problem is that as they get older, they grow to understand that some things are okay to steal. I remember when the office I worked in locked up the supplies from good people at the beginning of the school year so that the company supplies did not walk out the back door.

People do what people see and the problem grows. What is the legacy that we, that you, are leaving to those around you? Do they see you obey the laws? If you badmouth a law, do you work to change it through the process or just complain? Do you drive over the speed limit because it is just plain stupid to have it so slow? What do the little people learn sitting in the back seat? When they grow up, are stopped for a speeding ticket, do you wonder where they learned that? Do you wonder what seeds you are planting now that will grow out of control in later years?

When we make excuses and then justify them to ourselves and those around us, what we are really doing is lying to ourselves about the real reason we are making the poor decision.

Now, how do we, as individuals, parental units, communities, countries, nations, and the world change this?

Step 1

We must take responsibility for each action, good or bad. I learned the seventh Scout Law when I was 11 years old. Obedient means is to follow the rules of my family, school, and troop, to obey the laws of my community and country. If I believed the rules and laws were unfair, I would work to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them. It meant for me to take responsibility for my personal actions. I learned that there were always consequences for each action. I learned to think first and act second. Sometimes this was a hard and even a painful lesson to learn. No excuses! I heard my grandpa say. Excuses are just excuses; now tell me the real reason you did that. His next question was, “So, what did that teach you?” Yes, I did that. Yes, I will take the credit or take the learning consequences.

Step 2

You must be trustworthy. Growing up we had a handshake or verbal bond when sealing a deal. Now it’s all he said/she said unless it is written in black and white and notarized. Trustworthy means can you be trusted. Are you consistently worthy of trust? You first must be honest, with yourself and then those around you. Trust is a construction job on you, and built daily. It means keeping your word and others can depend on you to always do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. When trust is broken, mending it will take a long time of action to reverse and move forward,

Step 3

You must be brave. We must stand for what we believe. Being brave also means speaking the truth, admitting a mistake, apologizing, and making it right. When we see that someone is in trouble, bullied, scared, outcast, lost, it is our duty to stand in his or her defense. Come along beside them and be of help and service.

Earth Wind Fire Water Training and Development

Dick Powell    727-422-1833

Dick@EWFW.org   EWFW.org


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