Excuses are tools of the incompetent….

7 Feb

Excuses are tools of the incompetent
which create monuments
of nothingness.
Those who specialize in them
are seldom good in anything…. –

-Author Unknown-

The other day I picked my son up from school and I was fuming. I had just received a notification saying that he was failing science. I was quite frankly pissed. I’m an overachiever and quite frankly it baffles me when my son underachieves. He has everything he needs to succeed in and out of school and sometimes I wonder if he’s doing it to spite me (I really do dislike teenagers). This kid is BRILLZ (brilliant) and I want nothing more than for him to reach his potential ( I could smack myself in the mouth for sounding like my mother just now).

He jumped in the car and immediately could tell that my mood was a lot Mr. Hyde and very little Dr. Jekyll. The nice mom did not pick him up today and he knew it. He quickly sobered up and muffled whatever hopes he had that we’d be singing Kumbaya My Lord on the way home.

Hey son! *smile* GET YOUR A$$ in this car. *grrrr*

Hey son! *smile* GET YOUR A$$ in this car. *grrrr*

Son: Did I do something wrong?

Me: *blank stare*

Son: Oh, did you get my science grade? Let me tell you what happened….

Me: *clinches steering wheel hard enough to stop circulation from flowing into my fingers*. Shut. Up. Do NOT speak.

Son: *silent*

I’ll save you the rest of this conversation. Suffice it to say it did not end well for him. Let me tell you what really burns me though. With my child and with adults. EXCUSES. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. I was late because XYZ. I can’t succeed in life because ABC. When I was a kid QRS happened and I haven’t been able to move past it other wise I’d be where I want to be. Excuses. Explanations. Reasons. Let me take my guitar back out and strum some sad melody for you to this sad song you’re singing.

Froggy went a courtin, he did ride, C-C-C-C-Cranbone,

Froggy went a courtin, he did ride, C-C-C-C-Cranbone!

I hate to be the one to break it to you but we’ve ALL been through something. Everyone of us has or will have a “come to Jesus” moment that can change us from who we were to who we are. I’m extremely sympathetic to personal struggles, trials and tribulations. I’ve had my fair share of them. The world however, doesn’t care. I’m not saying get over it. Getting over it doesn’t allow you to deal with it and the problem just happens again. (Like taking a pop quiz over and over again. If you fail it. You just keep taking it until you pass it.) I’m saying WORK THROUGH IT. Go to a therapist. Talk to your pastor. Confide in a trusted friend. Read a self help book. Journal. DO SOMETHING! BUT don’t you dare make an excuse!

I was reading a friend and fellow bloggers blog this morning and he said something that was so poignant that I had to share. “Winners win and losers have really great excuses. ” That maybe a little harsh for some, but succeeding in life is all about your decision to accept nothing less than that outcome regardless of the obstacles.

After I had a “talk” with my son I made him draw up a contract. On the contract it outlines that if he needs help he will ask for it and his parents will provide it. If he needs me to quiz him and help him study for tests it’s his responsibility to come to me and ask. If something is going on at school that is impeding him from learning he is to tell me immediately. He will be proactive and an ACTIVE participant is solving any challenge that keeps him from excelling in school. BUT the moment he comes home with anything less than a C (and even that isn’t acceptable but we have to start somewhere) he is not allowed to give me any excuses, reasons or explanations.  He will take his punishment like a man/child and we move forward.

Wish me luck. I really dislike teenagers. BUT I HATE excuses.

Le Sigh,

Mistress of All Things Fabulous

PS. I have quite a few Greek friends all of whom had to learn a version of the poem I posted in the beginning of this post. It’s anonymous so the original version and author is unknown. Here are other versions. So no one thinks I’m playing favorites..lol

Version 2.

Excuses are monuments of nothingness, 
They build bridges to nowhere, 
Those of us who us these tools of incompetence, 
Seldom become anything but nothing at all.” 

Version 3.

Excuses are monuments of nothingness. They build bridges to nowhere. Those who use these tools of incompetence are masters of nothingness. Therefore there are no excuses. 

Version 4.

Excuses are monuments of nothingness, that build bridges to nowhere. Those that use these tools of incompetence are worthy of nothingness


17 Responses to “Excuses are tools of the incompetent….”

  1. Karen Nkechi Colbert February 7, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    So true! If folks spent the same amount of time “doing” instead of making excuses or complaining they’d all be further along and happier. Yeah, we sometimes feel the need to vent (that’s why I blog in the first place, lol) and we get down-in-the-dumps, but life is a series of peaks and valleys. Don’t stay in the valley’s too long, enjoy the peaks and by all means don’t make excuses.

    • TheHittList February 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      Didn’t realize you had a blog. Where is your follow button honey so I can follow you..but YES I totally agree! Life happens. You can gripe or do something. I agree about the blogging..it definitely helps to just get it out. But like my bff mom says. You get to have a pitty party for a couple hours but once thats over its time to do something.

  2. nualapthatsme February 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    This so reminds me of myself when I failed English in the 8th grade. I’m not the best with grammar, but I love English. I love writing, reading, and analyzing reading and writing. But, 8th grade I had ever excuse for why I couldn’t pass. My butt ended up in summer school because of those excuses. I did great in summer school. It was just me and my teacher. A teacher that I truly became connected with because she taught me to care about what I was writing and that it is okay to write about what I wanted to write about. I had to take this summer school class to be able to go to St. Mary’s Academy. Once, I got to SMA I had amazing English teachers that sparked even more life into to me as an avid reader and writer.

    I do like science, but I never achieved my potential in any science class. It didn’t matter how hard I worked or studied. I just thought I was stupid when it came to science. It wasn’t until I became a teacher and had to teach science that I learned a teacher has to really grab the attention of those who are not science orientated. If I would have had one of those teachers, I think I could have excelled in science. So, right now I am praying that Dylan’s teacher grabs his attention in science class and invites him into a warm inviting experience of science, not a cold lab that intimidates him, but one that sparks his imagination to the possibilities of changing the world.

  3. J.E. Sconiers August 21, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    I am a teacher working in a juvenile detention center. I thoroughly appreciate how you’ve handled the matter with your child. I shared this poem with my co-worker because of something he allowed to happen in his class that affected my ability to do my job. His response. Excuse after excuse. My response…the poem and the need to tell him are students become accountable, when we become accountable.

    Honestly, if more of the parents I have encountered over the years had the audacity to hold their children accountable and stop providing them with excuses, the education system would probably operate so much smoother. The sad thing is… as an educator my salary is determined by those who choose to make “EXCUSES” of why they can’t or won’t.

  4. La Chistosa (@LaChistosaLara) November 3, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    Putting it simply
    When you allow yourself the excuse to fail, you allow your SELF to fail in excuse.

  5. court1779 February 27, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. My children are very young, but both my husband and I are teachers. I can see many conversations in the future that echo your sentiments. Thank you for being such a wonderful mother. This is how we make a difference in the world. Great work!

    • TheHittList February 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Thank you so much! My son is in high school this year and I have to tell you..all the staying on his back, steering wheel griping, frustrating afternoons and evenings have all paid off. He’s doing well in school and when he gets off track we get him right back on! He can repeat this poem from heart too! He knows there is no value in excuses so he’s gotten better with giving them less! LOL!

      I would also like to thank you..for teaching the next generation (your kids and others) how to be awesome! Teachers don’t get half the praise they deserve but from one parent to another WE APPRECIATE YOU!

  6. Sandy February 28, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    You are so right. I looked up the word “incompetent” on Dictionary.com so I knew I would be using it right when I met my leasing agent (real estate) to finalize a lease today. I saw a link to your blog. This person has had nothing but excuses for a month. As she is an adult, I suspect drug and/or alcohol abuse. They will make one appear incompetent. When we meet today I will confront her with this and see if I can help her snap out of it and see what she is doing. Much like your son, she needs a “come to Jesus” moment.

  7. Rosevelt Franklin April 8, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    I agree with the poem but coming from a milestone of trials your words are highly incorrect and self inflicting towards your son that will on lead to resentment and destruction

    • TheHittList April 8, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      I’m sorry you feel that way. I can assure you that my words and actions are nothing but heartfelt and sincere. And though I may be tyrannical at times he’s growing into a loving, kind and intelligent fellow. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

      • Loquacious May 29, 2014 at 11:39 am #

        I disagree with Rosevelt. Raising a child of color in this country is difficult (e.g. ‘Mis-Education of the Negro’ by Carter Woodson). If a parent can successfully teach his/her son the importance of this poem, especially being a person of color, then that parent has put the child on a path that leads to success. Mad props to you.

        As a mother of a biracial son, I plan to screen print the poem on a canvas and hang it up in my house (my husband agreed with me on this). One of the best things I learned during college was that poem. It helped me through college and law school.

  8. Gina August 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    One of my favorite sayings: “The statute of limitations for you complaining about this are over!” I’ll listen to you whine & wail & wallow, but everyone has their limit. That goes for me, too!! 🙂 Love your blog!!

  9. MariJane February 1, 2016 at 4:40 am #

    “Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing.” Steven Grayhm.

    • TheHittList March 6, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you Marijane!

  10. Afua August 11, 2017 at 9:04 am #

    Nice…I too was an overachiever and gave a man child who feels average, ‘C’ is sufficient for all school subjects. He reserves his ‘A’ game for none-school subjects.

  11. Evelyn S October 20, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    Excuses are tools of the incompetent
    Used to build monuments of nothingness
    And those who use them
    Seldom amount to anything

  12. Da Realist 1 February 6, 2018 at 10:02 am #

    This is the version I learned:
    Excuses, excuses, excuses are tools of incompetence
    Built on monuments of nothingness
    And those who specialize in excuses
    Will never be good for anything else but excuses

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