Don’t Be An Excuse

Do not use others as an excuse for poor behavior. Others behavior are not our own, and therefor, they cannot be a basis for ours.

Let’s think about lying as an example. Is it OK to lie? Generally the understanding of that is that no, it is not OK to lie. Yet, in daily politics, especially in the 4 years that were the Trump Presidency, lies were thrown about with an appalling frequency. While it happened at an exorbitant ratio from Trump’s mouth, it started happening more often from the opposition as well. Either side, when confronted with their lies, would point to the other side and claim that their behavior is justified by the behavior of the other. They are each mistaken.

By excusing our inadequacies through the behavior of others, we lower ourselves and disregard our values. We stamp on them as though they were a bug meant for extermination. It’s an attempt to remove responsibility, but it does no such thing. It’s a cowardly response to excuse our mistakes

Arguing over who lies more is pointless as well. Neither side is right, even if the ratio of lies is 100:1 or greater. On a grand scale, a person who lies more often and more flippantly might be a lesser person. Worrying about that however, takes the focus away from ourselves and how we adhere to the values we espouse. We have to stick to examining our own actions, to pursue the proper paths without taking into account what others do. We cannot control others, and through our own behavior we can influence others. If we want others to behave with higher character, then we must do so ourselves, no matter what they do. And even if they continue to behave poorly, then at least we remove ourselves as an excuse for them.

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