Excuses Are Tools of the Incompetent


A house made of thin glass—
I can see straight through it,
Shatter every brick with a single blow,
It is unstable, an excuse:
It will get you no where,
Will do you no good...
You appear the fool
For claiming this monstrosity
Shoddy architecture and crumbling walls
The world only sees a failure
And attaches your name.

What Are Excuses?

One of the first things you learn when you go about joining a BGLO is what an excuse is. There are many versions of the definition Greeks learn, but they all say the same thing, and once you learn the definition, you will be taught that there are no excuses. There is simply a completed task or an uncompleted task. During your process, it's annoying, but once you're on the other side, it's something that really gets you to focus your time management skills. When you have exams, homework, projects, obligations from other organizations, chapter meetings, chapter events, step practice, new member processes, community service, and you're supposed to be attending other organizations events to show support, it's easy to start prioritizing and give excuses for why the things on the bottom of the list didn't get done. "I didn't come to step practice because I had a test." "I didn't do well on the test because I went to step practice." 

And right after you articulate this, someone is likely to say to you "what are excuses?" Your chapter isn't going to take excuses for why you missed chapter events, practices, etc. This makes the chapter weak and possibly makes them look bad. On the flip side, you're in college to be a student and there are GPA requirements for Greek organizations so the chapter doesn't want you dropping your grades either (granted this is a point of contention in some chapters—as I said in a previous post, these points are only valid if you join a chapter that has their stuff together). This leaves you in the position of learning to manage your time accordingly. You need to be able to successfully dedicate your time to everything you are required to do.

On top of time management, you learn honesty. You learn to say "I didn't finish this because I didn't allot enough time for it" or "I messed up in the show because I didn't practice enough." You can't improve yourself when you blame your short comings on things that are not the problem. When you say "I was sick" but really you just had a minor headache, you're wasting your own time. If you can realize that you failed because you didn't try hard enough or you didn't manage your time wisely, you can correct your problem. If you didn't show up because so-and-so didn't remind you, you imply that it's so-and-so's responsibility to make sure you know your schedule. Eliminating excuses ensures that you recognize two important things: 1) the task did not get completed and 2) it is you who did not complete it. This puts a lot of things into perspective. There are no excuses for failing, it may mean saying no to certain things, working harder, staying up later/waking up earlier, but at the end of the day, it has to be done. Looking at life this way definitely improved my focus as well as my time management skills; everything has to get done and everything has to be completed to a quality standard. 

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