Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

“Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.” – Willis R. Whitney

One of the things which really annoys me in life are those people around me who always have excuses for not doing something they were supposed to do. Sometimes the amount of time and effort people put into coming up with excuse after excuse is extraordinary. Here are a couple of examples which come to mind.

I was once watching the reality TV show Big Brother, a show where complete strangers share a house together and are filmed around the clock for the viewing audience’s pleasure.

On this particular show two housemates were arguing over whose turn it was to do the washing up after dinner. “I did it last night,” said one. “Well I did it the night before and I made you breakfast,” countered the other. This argument went back and forth for at least ten minutes but during this time, quietly in the background, a third housemate was at the kitchen sink washing up the dirty plates. When he had finished he walked up the arguing housemates and said: “During all this time while you were making excuses you could have got the job done.”

Further back in time when at school I always remember one teacher who would never accept any reason for pupils turning up late to his lessons. Whenever it happened he would say: “It is your first responsibility to turn up for class on time.” I loved that expression and it has stayed with me for my entire life.

It seems to me that the whole idea of taking personal responsibility is now a decidedly old-fashioned concept for many these days. As personal responsibility declines so the excuse culture thrives and this is something we must all be wary of.

It is easy to make excuses but very often it is just as easy to find the one reason to do something and get the task in hand finished.

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