© 2016 Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M. World Rights Reserved.
I collect quirky media stories, and this one came to mind today, as I was thinking about Excuses Stress: the static and drain caused by someone else or ourselves making excuses. Several years ago, I found this gem: “Ex-wife accused of identity theft blames dog for leading her astray”. In Arlington, Washington, an ex-husband found money was leaving his accounts without his previous permission. Police investigators determined his ex-wife was paying her expenses with the unauthorized funds. When asked about using her ex-husband’s bank account, the woman said her dog ate her personal checks and she had no choice but to use her ex-husband’s account.
Now let’s back up a moment. She said she believed she had no choice. But we are always at choice. Most people have another pad of checks, because checks typically come in batches of 160 or more. So maybe the dog ate all her check pads, as well as her checks in her checkbook, which was lying within reach of the dog’s mouth (why?). This woman probably has a debit card and can make online payments. She didn’t choose to do that. Debit cards and emergency replacement checks are available at all branches of her bank or credit union. The woman didn’t choose to avail herself of those services.
So maybe there was a long holiday weekend involved and she couldn’t talk to staff at her bank branch for 3 days. But hello! The banks all have 800 numbers with staff standing by to help customers around the clock. As far as we know, she didn’t choose to call the 800 number, nor did she email or try online chat to get help. Alright, so maybe there was a storm and all long-distance phone service was down. In desperation, perhaps the ex-wife thought, well, maybe I can use my ex-husband’s account. This leaves yet 4 more questions:
- Why did she not choose to ask his permission?
- How did she still know or have a record of his bank account number?
- With her own check pads all destroyed (if we accept that), where/how did she get checks from his account?
- Was she planning all this in advance, and is that how she had whatever she needed to access his account? That sounds much like a group of choices. Planning is making choices.
Benjamin Franklin said,
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
According to the ex-wife’s version of events, implicitly, if she had fed the dog something tastier than checks, none of this fuss would ever have occurred. Oh, but that must be wrong, because then she would have had some responsibility for what happened and for solving it. Now she is being investigated for identity theft and forgery. If she goes to jail, she will have many fewer choices. I hope she will see the irony.
In this story, the ex-husband is no-doubt stressed by having to deal with his ex-wife taking his funds. Now she is stressed because she has been caught and held responsible. (And she still has to order herself some checks.) People who make excuses just hate being held responsible. Excuses are the stories people offer, to keep from taking responsibility for their ineffective and “bad” choices.
Life is our greatest experiment, with hundreds of choices to make each day. With the option to make many choices comes the responsibility of making those that will give us the strongest results. Are you currently making any excuses for the way you are handling or not handling something? Why not exit your excuses and start experimenting, to build up your positive lifestyle more? That can eliminate your Excuses Stress!
And please, will you keep your dog and your checks completely separated? And send me any quirky news items you find! Now that’s Upbeat Livingsm!
- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
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