Thursday, September 12, 2013

Explanations are terrible excuses

I had to laugh when I read this sign today: "Uneven pavement"
Biking on the Greenbelt, I've seen these signs all up & down the trail.

This one made me chuckle, because obviously with a smidgen more of extra effort, they could've avoided installing the sign and just fixed the problem with the pavement.  Then it hit me, there are a lot people in life who'd rather warn us of their shortcomings instead of making the effort to improve themselves.

The wise Charles Siburt often quipped, "Your past explains you, it doesn't excuse you."
After seeing this sign today, I'll go one step further and say, your best explanation -- if you aren't careful -- will become your worst excuse:

  • "I have a bad temper, because my older sibling...."
  • "I lie a lot, because I never knew when I could..."
  • "I'm clingy, because once when I was..."
  • "I have to take control, I can't trust anyone since..."
  • "This is just the way I am, you have to accept me because..."

Reflect on the sign up-top. People will always evaluate us by our actions, not by our intentions.
Instead of maintaining a victim identity and acting like you aren't responsible for your own actions, be proactive and make some healthy changes wherever they are needed.
I appreciate people warning me of their issues, but I respect people who do the hard work of changing.

When I worked concrete in Chicago, Jimmy Deetchen used to say, "Don't tell me what you can't do -- show me what you can do."  Don't make excuses, make the effort to be the healthiest you, you can be.

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