Okay, parents, ‘fess up: Did you take this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup out of your child’s Halloween bucket? Did you take the big bite out of it and then rationalize and justify your actions with, Little Johnny will never notice! and Sweets have no calories on Halloween!?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in both candy-ingesting and rationalizing and justifying. Engaging in those behaviors nowadays is a thing. An all-too-common thing.
I know, I’ve done it.
Too Little Accountable Thinking
Have you noticed our current societal culture allows for a great deal of rationalization and justification, leading to convoluted thoughts, faulty reasoning, and very little personal accountability for individual choices? I have. Let me show you what I mean with these statements:
“I don’t mean to check email on my phone when with the kids, but something important might come up.”
“No, I don’t text and drive—except at a red light.”
“I shouldn’t have lashed out at that guy, but he made me mad and deserved it.”
“Sure, my candidate should not have said that, but did you hear what the other guy said?”
“My child isn’t perfect, but you should see what other kids do.” *see below*
“Arriving late to work isn’t right, I know—but everyone does it.”
“I should’ve called the customer back sooner, but I’d have more time if management hired more people.”
“I know I can only change me, but if she would do things differently our marriage would be better.”
“We’d have a lot less violence in our country if politicians in D.C. weren’t so uncivil to each other.”
Just More Blame
Heavy doses of justification and rationalization for a person’s actions are nothing more than finger-pointing and blame. Have you noticed when some folks “explain” their actions, you only hear excuses? Sometimes it makes my head spin.
I know when I overthink stuff, I conjure up excuses for others and for me. That’s costly. No one can learn, grow, and change when unwilling to say, “I’m wrong, I own it. Here’s what I’ve learned.”
Nor will any problems be solved. The Blame Game fails us all.
Accountability Gives Us Power
Great value is derived from living by clear, truth-based, timeless principles like personal accountability. Life is far less confounding when I do. I don’t always measure up, but when I fail—I know it.
By embracing the reality that no one makes me do anything I don’t want to do—by eliminating the human urge to rationalize and justify—I empower myself to eradicate excuses, own my life, and be better tomorrow than I am today.
I bet you agree those are worthy goals!
Have I allowed rationalization and justification into my thought life or am I practicing personal accountability at every turn?
*** For more on excellent parenting: Raising Accountable Kids