A report by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Disability Statistics Centre, as cited by Quora in 2013, showed that 6.1 million Americans who were living outside institutions were users of mobility assistive devices such as walking sticks and canes. Across several countries of the world, there are many more who use walking sticks. Basically, a walking stick is a device that assists people to get from one location to another when walking. Its benefits include assisting with balance and bearing weight to take pressure off of muscles.
As beneficial as walking ticks are, they are not without side effects. A patient-support website named “patientslikeme” stated that such side effects include shoulder pains, back pains, social anxiety, falls, joint pain in the hand, etc. There is also the problem of addiction; persons who are supposed to use the walking stick as a temporary measure tend to depend on it because of the immediate comfort it provides and fail to get rid of it. Walking sticks can also make muscles become weak because they are being supported.
There is something that provides immediate relieve and temporary support like the walking stick, which is not only dangerous but is also capable of making one’s success muscles grow weak. It is called “excuse”. Think about it, you don’t need an excuse unless you are in trouble. You don’t look for who or what to blame unless your competence, integrity or character is at stake. At that moment, an excuse seems like the best way to get past an unpleasant situation. All you want is a way of escape from the impending consequences of your action. The first time you give an excuse, it is like a walking stick you lean on because you are weak. Then comes the next one, and the next one, and yet another one. Before you realise it, you have become addicted to excuses and you have become permanently defensive.
Michael Straczynski made a profound statement that “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives”. You may not realise it but making excuses is a skill and people can get really good at it. But according to Benjamin Franklin, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”.
Some people consider giving “good excuses” as a sign of intelligence. They believe it demonstrates their smartness and speed of thought. Well, George Washington thinks differently because he said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses”. The victory an excuse is usually short-lived because it lacks substance. Excuses are not sustainable because they lack the value and credibility to create a good future.
The moment we stop making excuses is the first time we see the real worth of our lives. We realise that we have deceived ourselves for too long. You can only test your balance when you drop your walking stick. Let your excuses go and take responsibility.