This blog has been dormant for quite some time and I have no excuse for it. Just sorry..mmm..maybe not, as I don’t think any of you even care.
You know, it is almost natural for me to not give excuses. In fact, I always try my very best to not give excuses when I made mistakes. When I’m late for my routine 10 am meeting, I would just say sorry without any excuses because seriously, I can’t say that I got caught in the jam. Not when there is hardly any traffic on the route that I take to the office and not when I have at least 2 and a half hours of time to get to the meeting from the moment I wake up.
When I accidentally tore my husband’s MC by not checking his pocket as I threw his pants into the washing machine, I gave him my best pitiful look, a warm peck on his cheek and a promise to call the doctor for a new one, which, I later forgot. So when he asked for it the next day, I jumped in regret for my stupidity and carelessness and gave him the cutest look possible and a big long hug while dramatically begging for forgiveness. He couldn’t help but laughed out.
You see, excuses only lead to more questions and then denial, followed by arguments, suspicions and distrust. Because honest, responsible, self-confident person wouldn’t feel the urge to be overly defensive when they make mistake.
When you say it just the way it is, people would be forced to accept your honesty whether they like it or not. If you are late for a meeting, telling your boss that you had to turn back because you forgot your handphone won’t turn back the clock.
I learned to never give excuses from the Reserve Army Officer training during my college days. In the army, when you’re caught, you’re dead and you can’t tell the enemy that you were not supposed to die because it wasn’t your fault that you got caught. And you don’t give excuses for losing a man in a battle as it would be stupid and would only caused more pain.
The training also taught me that blaming others won’t do you any good or make any difference. In fact, it is more or less the same thing as giving excuses that is, denying your fault and refusing responsibility.
However, in the civilian’s world, especially in our Malay culture, ‘excuses’ seems to be the way of life and blaming others is almost natural. Most of us aren’t able to stand corrected or being scolded for being too arrogant to admit own mistakes. And so, in our culture, the word ‘I’m sorry’ usually comes with a ‘but’.
Things got worse when the ‘but’ is followed by ridiculous and irrelevant explaination. For example, “I’m sorry to be involved in bribery but – he does it too”. Or, “I’m sorry, but - he started it” These are defensive mode - an attempt to deny or to try to mellow down the guilt or to get away. For me, it means that you’re not sorry at all.
It also means that you are telling people that you were not in control of yourself for being too easily influenced by people or things around you. That you do things because of someone or something else, and that you are not smart enough to understand the consequences.
The saddest thing is that it usually would not end there. Soon, there will be grudges, a sense of avenge – a deep vendetta towards the person who exposed what you did, or who had caught you. It would then become apparent that you were never sorry for the crime but you were only sorry you got caught.
While this attitude may be taken as ‘pride’ or ‘ego’ by some, I would call it ‘coward’.
A real man would be ready to pay for his action, a real leader would readily take the blame, a real Muslim would admit his guilt - without excuses.
Giving excuses, denying guilt or blaming others is an evident of a weak personality. A picture of one with no principle nor stance. One who lives only to fit everybody’s perception, who goes with the flow while trying to stay on top of the surface. Who would deny when confronted and hide when exposed.
The funny part is that, these are the people who are trying to portray themselves as our leader and sometimes as the smartest or holliest person among us all if not smarter and hollier than his enemy. Not necessarily they are politicians, they may be ordinary people around you:
A CEO of a company blamed the politicians for getting him involved in a fishy business deal which he later got caught, but the politician got away. In his mind, it is the politician’s fault that he got caught although he was not sorry for his part of the share.
A housewife blamed the government for his son’s drinking habit. An Ustaz blamed a girl’s miniskirt for molesting her. A girl blamed her parents’ divorce for her screwed up life. A man blamed his ex-fiance for his drug abuse. These are the story of everyday people in our lives.
These people believe with all their hearts that they are the good ones. It is others who put them into this situation. Some even believe that they are the victims.
Well, here’s the news, Allah SWT has provided us all with brains. Therefore, we are all well-equipped to make our own choices.
The brain inside our head has the same design with those of Newton’s, Einstein’s, Hawking’s, Gate’s, Zuckerberg’s, Mahathir’s, Gandhi’s, Mandela’s, Hitler’s, or… Anwar Ibrahim’s, Hadi Awang’s, Nik Aziz’s,…. Ted Bundy’s and….every Minah’s or Dolah’s.
But when Newton saw and apple fall from a tree, he questioned the fact that everything either fall down or just settled on the ground, if not buried underneath. So, he chose to study on it and tadaaa…. he discovered gravity. But at around the same time, there was a Dolah who saw his durian fell from the tree, he picked it up, open it and eat it and that’s it - which requires almost zero brain activity on the thinking part.
An American surrounded by almost naked bartenders, had drink with his colleagues, paid the bill and went home and rest. But here is Ustaz Din, surrounded by women clad in tudungs, went home and saw his teenage girl in pyjama and decided to rape her.
When En. Man was asked to approve a tender to an unqualified contractor by a Minister, he said no. He got pressured, resigned and started his own business in his kampung and lives happily ever after. But there is En. Zam who would soon replace him, abided by the Minister’s wish, got richer by RM5 million and lives happily ever after too, with the dirty money accumulated and passed down to his next generation.
You see, you always have a choice and nobody is to blame on whatever cause you take, except yourself because no one have access to your brain, except you. Since you are so smart or smarter than, holly or hollier than others, you can’t say that you have been brain-washed or influenced by the less smart and less holly persons.
So, all of these excuses and the finger pointing actually comes down to a question of ‘Dignity’. Admitting mistakes and asking forgiveness are the basis of having dignity which comes with a strong principle.
Hitler may be evil, but he admitted to killing millions and never once attempted to twist his stories. In fact, he stood by his believe that he was doing the right thing. For that, he deserves to be named as one of the great leaders - in the evil category of course.
But when Anwar openly supported Israel, he quickly denied when being lambasted by the Muslims. The same goes when he slipped his tongue and condemned the homosexual law in Malaysia as archaic. He twisted his tongue all around and upside down when confronted.
His daughter, Izzah followed suit as she quickly denied that she believes Muslims too, have right to convert to other religions. She claimed that it was the Quran’s teaching, but she doesn’t dare to stand by the same argument when pressured by the media.
These are simple but obvious example of people without dignity and without principle. They dare not show their true stance but only go by and with the flow. People like them would never admit mistakes when criticized and would never own their guilt when wrong.
Why? Because unlike Hitler who believed that he was doing the right thing, these people know very well that they are wrong!
So don’t be fooled by them, o! people of Malaysia for these aren’t leaders, they are the cowards. As for ourselves, don’t give excuses and don’t be so quick to be defensive when confronted. In fact, think of what you really feel, and admit accordingly. To err…is human, to forgive is divine and to admit mistake is a holly act that takes great courage and a strong ‘iman’.