Reason: a cause, explanation, or justification for an event (dictionary.com)
Excuse: a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense (dictionary.com)
It seems that reasons and excuses are used nearly interchangeably these days.
They aren’t the same.
A reason, under my own understanding of that formal definition above, is a simple statement of fact. “I overslept because my alarm clock didn’t ring.” “I punched him in the face because he’s a jerk.” These are reasons.
An excuse is a bit shifty and dodgy. “If he hadn’t been a jerk I wouldn’t have been forced to punch him. I didn’t mean it, but I couldn’t help myself.”
Look, we all make mistakes. There’s just one simple (and painfully complicated) way through that reality: OWN IT! Whatever it is, own it. You don’t necessarily owe apologies in life, although some mistakes do merit a sincere attempt at making amends.
But the direct approach? That’s a breath of fresh air in a world that seems increasingly dominated by “trolls,” backstabbers, and online bullies. There are so many who thrive on that manufactured, negative drama. Life, in living it, is filled with color and drama and highs and lows. There’s no need to stir up trouble with falsehoods.
When it came to beating around the bush, before I had cancer I could beat around that damn bush at championship levels. Now? I choose not to. When there is a problem, I address it. When there is a cause to celebrate, I’m the first to jump up.
My respect goes to those people who are able to meet me in that honest space. Without cruelty, we can communicate. With kindheartedness, we can meet in the middle on almost any issue.
We all have reasons for our choices. And a responsibility that goes beyond any excuses.
Some thoughts for your Monday evening – blessings to you all!