What is the worst trait to possess in terms of human behavior? Excuses! Maybe excuses are not a trait per se, but making excuses leads to other detrimental human characteristics and behavior. For a long time I have been witnessing an alarming trend in declining responsibility and accountability amongst humans. The main culprit of this detrimental characteristic flaw in humans can be traced back to the art of making of excuses. Be wary of any person who makes a lot of excuses because they are most certainly an unreliable human being.
Do we want our leaders, political or corporate, making excuses? Of course not! Excuses are a sign of weakness. A leader that uses excuses is not tackling the problem and hand, but merely trying to find a way to circumvent or to go around the problem. Making excuses is a manipulative way to deflect responsibility and accountability. The blame game is a classic example of using excuses to ones benefit. It does not solve the problem, but it deflects the responsibility to someone else. When the Democrats stimulus failed to create jobs and lower unemployment they conveniently blamed George Bush for putting them in the situation. When BP, Halliburton, and Transocean were put in front of Congress to understand what caused the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and subsequent oil spill, they each conveniently blamed each other for causing the disaster. Another tool used by artful excuse makers to deflect blame is fear mongering, generalizations, or smears. The progressives want us to believe in climate change, so they must paint a pessimistic excuse of a pending global apocalypse to manipulate others to see this issue in the same light. The left’s favorite excuse to deflect the attention from their failed policies is to smear or generalize their opponents as being racists or bigots. And yes, the right is also guilty of using the same deceitful art of excuses to manipulate the electorate. These are not the actions of leaders, but the actions of followers masquerading as leaders.
Making excuses explains why we have become a narcissistic generation that only cares about me, myself, and I. Since excuses are the art of blaming someone or something else for a problem, issue, or situation; it conveniently protects the culprit and keeps their massive ego in a constant state of denial that they could ever be guilty of any wrongdoing. Individuals will do anything to protect their narcissistic personalities and would even fabricate false excuses. Thus, the art of excuse making by individuals devolves over time into lies. One reason for our devolving personalities is due to the overprotective nature of parents, who are sometimes called helicopter parents. These are the parents that hover over their child’s every action and therefore, defend their child’s every action emphatically. Thus, their children grow up thinking they are perfect and never do anything wrong. Another reason for this phenomenon is our culture’s emphasis on political correctness. Our schools and communities over emphasize the concept that every kid is a winner. If a child finishes last in a race or contest, they are rewarded with an award. Hence, kids always think they are winner (right) and they are never a loser (wrong). Senator Larry Craig from Idaho, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, or Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson are classic examples of politicians that were caught red handed, but would never admit guilt and fabricated stories to proclaim their innocence. Bernie Madoff is a classic example of a corporate narcissist that fabricated one excuse (fib) after another. These people are so narcissistic that they actually believe their excuses (lies) are the actual truth.
Making excuses is a chief trait you will see in procrastinators. And unfortunately, procrastinators make up over 90% of our population. That is scary. Americans will make excuses up to the last minute of a schedule to accomplish a task. What’s worse, the task is generally completed late and with a lack of quality. This can be seen in both business blunders, such as the Deepwater Horizon rig where installation guidelines were neglected; or in political blunders, such as the Recovery Act that was hastily drafted without consulting business leaders.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)