Alright, perhaps they are reasons…in your mind. To the person whom they affect, they are probably not good enough reasons, and instead, excuses. Truth-be-told, you didn’t have to respond negatively to someone else’s bad behavior. You could have gotten the laundry done if you made it a priority. Your kids are not to blame for you being stressed out at work, and your hair is not more important than being on time. My point is this, you can agree that we make excuses for ourselves and mask them with reason. However, when someone else messes up, and their mess affects our life, are we as quick to make excuses for them?
The other day my fifteen-year-old and I were in the SUV driving to McDonalds. While heading down 5th Street, an older gentleman was riding his bicycle on the side of the road instead of the sidewalk. Needless-to-say, this slowed down the flow of traffic. With her young reasoning, my daughter said, “Why doesn’t he just use the sidewalk?” Me, the master of excuses, responded with, “Well, honey, he is older, and those sidewalks are bumpy. Maybe it hurts his body too much to ride over that many bumps.”
When I picked her up at McDonalds after eating breakfast with her soccer team, she got into the SUV and said, “I just now got my drink. Everyone else had their drink, and we already ate, and I, literally, just got my drink.” My response to her was, “Honey, look around at how busy they are. It was just as busy when I dropped you off. The employees have been running ragged all morning, and they still must get through the lunch rush. Can you imagine having to keep everyone’s order straight while keeping your head on straight through that madness? It is not as easy as it looks!”
Between the bicyclist and the McDonalds’ employees, I am grateful for the gift of being able to teach my daughter how to keep her peace by making excuses for other people. It is easy to make excuses for ourselves. Still, it is often difficult to give others the same courtesy excuses allow. So, this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to see how many excuses you can make for other people. If you are courageous, you might just find yourself continuing this practice throughout the rest of the year; and, perhaps, your lifetime.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please be sure to leave me your thoughts below in the comments.