Our Schools, Our Kids, Our Future
Most of you have probably heard the saying, “Excuses are a dime a dozen.” This statement is really telling us two things: first, excuses are plentiful; and second, excuses are not a valuable commodity. There never seems to be a shortage of excuses and in today’s world, a dime will certainly not buy you much anymore.
Nevertheless, excuses are popular. We use excuses, hear excuses, or read excuses every day. If you are running a little short on creativity, you can even buy an excuse T-shirt printed with many common excuses for whatever behavior you may need to excuse. If you are a parent, you hear your child make excuses every day. If you are a teacher, there is not a day goes by that you don’t hear a student come up with some that are sometimes original and sometimes classics. “My dog ate my homework” or some revised form of it has likely been used for generations. I guess that it is true that one excuse is as good as another.
When we don’t want to do something, we can always find plenty of reasons why not to do it. Procrastination is one of the major causes for lack of achievement. The Latin translation of the word “procrastination” means “for tomorrow”. How many times have heard, “It can wait until tomorrow”, “I don’t have time today”, or “I’ll do it later”? Too often little responsibilities and chores become major headaches because people keep putting them off until there are no alternatives. Unfortunately, by the time action is taken, stress levels are high and complications have arisen.
The only way to combat procrastination is with action, not with excuses. Ben Franklin once said, “I have never known a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else.” We develop our abilities only through effort and a willingness to try.
As we near the end of another school year, it is important for each of us to remind ourselves and our students that today is a valuable gift and we should never waste it by procrastinating or making excuses about why things didn’t get done or what could have been. It is especially important for our seniors to finish strong and to eagerly complete their assignments and responsibilities in what will be their final days of their K-12 journey. It is also a good lesson as they begin to look and apply for jobs or as they get that fresh start in a college or university. It is best to focus on making the most out of each day and to never make excuses or have regrets about what might have been. Start today, as it is the only place you can begin to achieve your dreams.
(borrowed from Fred Helmink)