“To be honest, to be kind – to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” – Unknown
I am fed up with my own excuses along with those of others. When we are coping with an illness, we must take responsibility for it. By doing so we promote a healthier outcome. If we ignore the advice of doctors, and people knowledgeable in the subject, then we can’t really complain. If we are following directives, and maintain a poor outcome, accept all the sympathy.
I am really not that harsh about it, but many times we need to help ourselves. By accepting that fact we are being honest. I don’t think honesty has deserted us, but it is definitely shuffled to the background. If the phone rings and we don’t feel like dealing with the person, we ignore it. Later our phony excuse is professed. I know we shouldn’t have to speak to someone if we don’t want to. But simply stating we were busy might be a better way to go. We stretch the truth on any given day about all kinds of things too numerous to list. We tell white lies to make another feel better, because we fear telling them the truth. It is more difficult and more time consuming to give them the truthful explanation.
I know it is tough to always be honest, but really we have lost the essence of its’ importance. A friend recently discovered his wife was cheating. Many were shocked because the couple are so young. The reasons she explained, were due to her boredom, and her husbands lack of attention towards her. I believe even without any awareness of the facts, that maybe he wasn’t solicitous. I thought to myself, that it seemed like an empty excuse. It appeared the wife assumed she had her reasons, for such behavior, and she believed she was totally justified. My problem with this is the veracity. If she was attracted to someone else, and wanted to get involved, she should have confronted her husband and ended the marriage. It would have been more ethical, to admit her desire, instead of betraying her husband. Her choice of lies and deceitfulness really places most of the blame on her.
Situations like this can pertain to either spouse. It happens quite often. I just don’t like hearing the story with the punch line, that it was unavoidable, and the person was led into a dishonest act out of their control. That allows us to do just about anything. I call it lacking in accountability, and total denial of accountability. Maybe that is the word. No one accepts blame for anything anymore. Someone else always makes us do something, we never planned to do. In any relationship there are some boundaries, we are expected not to cross. If we choose to venture beyond the limits, then we are trashing our relationship. It is that simple. I would hope most of us reflect before we pick a path we will most likely regret, at some future time.
Disclaiming fault gives us a free conscience. We don’t have to think further about how far our actions rippled with negative affects. We are human beings with many desires. Admitting this dies not always make it all open and clear. Our relationships are not always on the best grounds. At any given low time, another man or woman may appear very appealing. There is nothing wrong with this. If we venture to experience the affair, then we have chosen, and are stuck with the responsibilities it entails. Again it is simple. I am not saying our choice is right or wrong. Question if you want to maintain a relationship with the person who is currently your spouse. Choosing to begin another relationship, has repercussions and consequences, which will possibly lead to divorce. We can’t say we were coerced, even if the other erring party in the affair pursued us. We always have a free will.
That is what is missing in our society. Responsibility for our choices is paramount. Parents can discipline with love or anger. Yes, when a child needs the discipline, of course we are most likely angry with what they have done. Controlling the anger is our choice. If we lose control and hit or hurt our child, we can’t blame our child, for our own lack of control. Many adults say, “They made me do it. They got me angry and I told them many times. They didn’t listen, it is their fault.” It really isn’t the child’s blame. We own the guilt. We had a choice.
Somehow guilt has vanished from our minds. Like Niagara Falls we wash away all of our blame. We are busy, have responsibilities, so if we skip commitments or kind acts towards others, we excuse ourselves because we have heavy loads. Bad choices leave chaos in their wake. Many people suffer the consequences of poor choices. By alleviating accountability, we do away with the backlash of our actions.
For myself, I’d like to attempt a new approach, when I am making serious decisions. I want to think like a chess player, and consider all of the results that will arise, from my actions. I don’t want my decision made in haste. If I have a lot of stress on a particular day, I will put off any serious choices. A sounder day with less stress, may help me to consider a clearer thinking decision. Most importantly I hope to enhance my ethics, along with my honesty, by taking responsibility for my own actions. Blaming others for our failures, can be almost habit forming. If a light was left on all night, maybe it was my fault. If the door was not locked, I can assume there was a fifty percent chance I forgot.
Already it feels good. I do not feel any anger towards another, by reflecting on shared responsibility. It also feels good to know, I can make mistakes, admit them, be forgiven and move on with my life. I hope to learn from serious mistakes, or perhaps lessen or omit them altogether. Maybe it is possible to increase honesty in the world. I know it is possible to increase it within my own existence. I want to be known as a person with integrity, rather than a person of power.
“Physical bravery is an animal instinct; moral bravery is more honorable and requires real courage.” Unknown
“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what’s right.” – Isaac Asimov
“Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.” – Margaret Chase Smith
“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” Anonymous