Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leaving Excuseville

Excuseville is a town that I despise, but more and more people seem to be moving there everyday.  In fact, it has grown to be one of the largest cities in the world.  Not a day goes by when I don't read another article on the internet or in a magazine, or hear a news or radio broadcast that is not making an excuse for the failings of some individual or group of people to take responsibility for their own actions and their own lives.  It may make some people feel good that the general consensus is they've been excused from the consequences of their actions, but it doesn't change the fundamental situation.

Whether the devil made me do it, or it is encoded in my genes, or I'm the victim of poor parenting or an uncaring state that neglected my education, it is still my choice to overeat, overspend, smoke, drink, cheat on my wife, neglect my kids emotionally and financially, be selfish. No external influence makes me do things that I know to be wrong. The defect lies within, and it is not genetic. It is a matter of making choices with my life and accepting responsibility for those choices whether the outcome is good or bad.  No "poor me" or "it's someone else's fault" type of thinking flies with me anymore.  Maybe I'm just old and cranky, or I call it like it is because I'm not politically correct.

I left Excuseville years ago, and haven't looked back.  Yet, all I hear around me are victims and those who want to turn everyone into victims... from the TV news shows to radio to politicians to pop culture everyone is a victim.  I'm sick of it.  I checked out and tuned out.  Yes, it's sad to hear that 25% of those taking the army entrance exam can't solve this equation for x: 2x = 4.  It's sad that they failed to get a good education.  They'll pay for it the rest of their lives.  The resources were available to them, but they did not seize the opportunity.  They have no one to blame but the face in the mirror.  The sooner they realize this, the sooner they are on the train out of Excuseville and headed toward taking control over their lives, and shaping their own fate.


  1. I agree in one sense and disagree in another. Genetics may very well be to blame for many things, but nonetheless... within the space of freedom that we have, we still have the choice to let our genetics be an excuse, or we can do the best we can given what we have. Maybe you're old and cranky, but I think you're right -- we would all be better off if we took our lives into our own hands instead of feeling miserable about all the wrongs done to us. That can be a normal reaction at times, but in the long run it's something we need to move past in order to move forward.

  2. Largely agree w/ you, Biz, and you don't sound old and cranky at all. Where I some measure of sympathy for the short-attention span generation is that it's very hard to unlearn ingrained behaviors. But it ends at sympathy. Unless it's immediate family or volunteering for the sake of service, trying to help someone that doesn't want to help themselves is exhausting, unrewarding, and a kick in the teeth to boot.