Friday, August 29, 2014

Excuses against "excuses".

"Don't blame other things to excuse yourself from acting" they said.
"You are just sitting there, doing nothing other than excusing yourself. How do you expect to improve?"
"Whatever you say is just an excuse to avoid dealing with the problem."

Phrases like these are very popular in our culture. They assume something "obvious" with which I disagree. They imply that the accused person is already exerting zero energy to solve his problems and just avoids it by analysing the problem more. While, if he just stopped excusing and acted on the problem, it would be very easily solved. The guy is simply lazy and everyone in his position would solve his problems easily enough. This is so instilled in our culture that we all nod positively when someone is accused, and this really feels to the individual like we condemn him.

So, someone can follow acting on a good habit (starting a diet for example) or just staying there arguing about it. So, we have two roots, the obvious success (A) and the pitiful loser way (B). And I ask you, if it was so easy and obvious, then why would anyone ever want to choose B over A?

An "excuser" is not a person who can simply choose what is best for him but he doesn't out of stubbornness. He is a person who has a hard time with something that is simple and obvious for the rest. The first few times he tries, later he tries more, he gets dissatisfied and stops for a while, then comes again thinking he can succeed now, failing again. During all this process he tries to explain his feelings, because he really has a problem that makes it harder to achieve something that is quite easier for most of the people. The expression of his feelings are marked as excuses.

This can be dangerous. It can be dangerous for the depressed, the obese, the love-shy. It can be dangerous for people who are in numerous other conditions that are alien to me. These people are already feeling bad with some parts of their lives that don't seem to progress and usually they have very low self-esteem. Dismissing their words as excuses without second thoughts is like implying that they are lazy, liars, everyone else is just like them and they just never tried enough. Way to go killing their self-esteem more. Not only they are losers, but they are vile, trying to take advantage of the situation for their own laziness. Even if you don't imply all these accusations by phrasing this common idea, believe me this is how you make most of these people feel.

The mistake we do, is thinking we can easily put ourselves into other people's shoes. We feel that the way we act and feel is around the same way everyone does. As an example, I never liked smoking, I tried many times to taste it, and no matter how much I tried, I never understood how can people even like it so much. From my own perspective, I would be surprised that a smoker has trouble cutting it. If I was as naive as most people, I would be shouting "Come on, this is the easiest thing in the world! Just stop smoking, damn it!!!". I would then consider every one of his replies as excuses. "You are trying to avoid the simple fact, gradually reducing smoking, less addiction. Just do it, step by step! Everything else is adding unnecessary complexity, another excuse just to avoid acting.". But I am not inside his head and his body, I am not really him, I don't know how it feels and how much harder it gets. I am an external observer who maybe for various reasons (ego?) needs to say his uninformed opinion. It seems so obvious to me, when I have never been the person with the problem.

And for me, saying things like "these are just excuses" is an excuse in itself. And excuse against "excuses". And what I imply with this is that you don't really want to understand or help that person, but for other reasons you want to stick in your opinion (which is really the popular opinion), not even considering that maybe this person acts and feels in ways you would never imagine.

But ideas like the above will still remain in the collective of memes spreading around, you'd keep seeing it, and it's even hard for the individual to explain what is wrong with them because the explanation might not be able to catch up with the "common sense", thus you will overanalyse, and that overanalysation have come to really seem like "excuses" to us all. What's best for the sufferers then when they hear the same story around them? Maybe it is to keep the faith that you really try hard and surely you have struggled more than other people and nobody can deny that from you. And secondly, stick to people with similar experiences, with whom you can share mutual understanding.

One could react about the second solution, like it's a very bad suggestion for a depressed person to stick with other depressed persons. He might spit another common obvious opinion, that everyone would instantly think it's correct. This is that "You don't place the sick among the sick." or "the depressed person goes to the depressed because he hears what he likes to hear from them" or even " Opposites attract, so stick the depressed person with happy people instead". If we play by using the word "excuse", for me this is another excuse from the accusers, that the person should stop being depressed, he is lazy and prefers more company with other depressed people than "normal" persons, an excuse they use to belittle and control the sufferer. Really, if your regular environment (family, friends, school, who most of them don't (want to) understand your problem) is tha majority of your encounters, how does this cure your problem, instead of making you more miserable, hearing everyone saying how much you excuse yourself, how easily it would have been to solve your problems, how much a loser you are and just blame others for your problems. Afterall that's how you lost yourself, being born and living for most of your life around people compared to whom you are kinda different and being blamed by the same environment for so long.

My final theory is that there is no perfectly defined normal, no absolutely good or bad, but what happens is that you might be the unlucky to have been born in an era where you differ drastically from the majority around you, in aspects that make things a pain for you and non-affected people easily criticizing you. So, what's best other than trusting your instincts and stick to the persons who understand you? Maybe the better environment will cure your lost self-esteem and help you improve your life in the aspects you want to improve. And even if you don't, you might learn to come in terms in yourself and accept who you are.

We must learn to ignore the tyranny of excuses blaming.

2 comments:

rogerjowett said...

hi optimus thanks for uploading the sam coupe sphera demo video to youtube

Optimus said...

Well yeah, I felt it was missing. But you could have replied about this on my youtube channel instead. Not relevant to the discussion here :)

Locations of visitors to this page