Reason or Excuse

I owe this concept to a poem that Lawrence Illoc recently posted in his blog  Being Bipolar: Trying to Break the Stigma.  A bipolar blog written by a bipolar.  In his poem, he says that context determines which (reason or excuse) is used and maybe the two are really the same.

reason-no good

I think a common example of this is when we blame the victim for the crime.  If she were not wearing that:

  • short dress
  • heavy make-up
  • tight outfit
  • all of the above

she would not have been sexually assaulted.

If poor people were not

  • lazy
  • stupid
  • drug-users
  • all of the above

they would not be on welfare.

When we fail to pay attention in traffic, it is our nature to blame the pedestrian, the other driver(s), the weather–anyone but ourselves.  The fact that we were trying to pass, reaching for something we dropped (never mind talking on the phone, reading, texting, watching a video or the GPS), is irrelevant to what may have happened.

Sometimes we exercise the proverbial “white lie” because we do not want to do something, attend something, make something, or buy something.   We find excuses like health issues, traffic, previous commitments, electronic failures, etc rather than admit  we just did not want to be bothered.   Most of us do  not want to hurt the feelings of friends or family.  We also have the right to just say no–I’m:  tired, over-committed, not interested, do not care for that type of activity or food, etc.

You have a choice:  Excuse or Reason.  Which will you chose?

Binary options



4 thoughts on “Reason or Excuse”

  1. This is a tough one. Externalizing discomfort is an important strategy for relieving stress and keeping sanity/peace in your life. Psychologists advise us not to keep things bottled up, because they do more harm over time than simply letting off steam a little at a time. It’s not just a matter of self-preservation. Besides, each of those excuses may be a self-serving rationalization but it also contains a germ of truth. We can maintain social balance on a personal, family, neighborhood, or national level by giving ourselves and each other plausible ways to back away from open conflict.
    At the same time, a hasty response to stress can often be hurtful or even dangerous. Men are typically better at externalizing than women, possibly because women are raised to be more sensitive to each other’s feelings. As a result, men can be more prone to rash and argumentative actions, possibly relieving their own stress while giving it to other people. An excuse or a little white lie gives you time to think things through, as well as a chance that stress may relieve itself if you just relax.
    Knowing when to stand up and shout and when to be patient and let things slide is perhaps our greatest challenge. It’s certainly mine.

    Liked by 1 person

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