Off the Wall, July 6, 2017

How many times in a week or even a month does someone hand you an excuse when they want to get out of doing something? Actually it’s a waste of time to tell people facts that they really could care less about.

Let me give you an example.

Tony, telephoning a young lady he met several weeks ago at a party: “Hello, is this Michele, Hi, this is Tony Doggole. How are you? Say, the Vooties are playing at the Palace Theater Saturday night and I am calling to see if you would like to go with me?”

Michele: “Sorry, Tony, but I can’t go with you. I promised to help my mother wash sheets, iron them and take the curtains down and launder them and then hang them back on the windows. It will take us all evening and probably we will have to finish the job tomorrow. I hope we can get the job done by then, because Sunday is the day of rest and I’m surely going to need it. It’s so kind of you to call and ask me to go, Tony.”

Was that full explanation necessary?

Are you aware of the fact that ninety-six percent of the people don’t give a sling’s ring as to any amount of an excuse that follows the part that follows “Tony, I can’t go with you…”

It’s interesting though that we in our culture feel down deep in our gut that we always have to explain why we can’t do something. Here are some other sample examples:

Molly: “Can you please put Douser out?”
Jeffery: “I’m sorry, Honey, I can’t do it. I have to wash my face and brush my teeth.”
Sarah: “Georgette, Could you please pick up some Doritos when out shopping. Sorry Sarah, but the stores I’m going to don’t sell that product.”
Ron: “Did you return John’s phone call?” Mary Lou: “ I’ m too busy making jewelry to return phone calls, you know that!”
Ann: “I’ve asked you twenty times to call Alice next store about their pet buck always wondering over to our property. Why haven’t you telephoned her or gone over to talk to her about that?” Harry: “ Oh dear, we’re supposed to be neighborly people. We have to get along with residents who live in homes around us. I can’t do that…”

Think for a minute when someone asked you to do something and right away a little voice popped up in your mind putting out the message, “Lulu, don’t even give it further thought. It’s a no.”

The problem within our society is that we don’t follow the Holy Scriptures. I realize there are many who do not read the scripture to know this bit of information. In any case, take it from one who has stumbled upon it many times while either having it read to me or reading it: “Let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No”. Anything more is from the evil one.”

I’m not going to dwell on the scripture other than to state that there is something to that bit of wisdom. In other words, wouldn’t it just be simpler if when someone asked us a question that in response would yield a “yes” or “no” answer? We have to make things more complicated by thinking we can’t just answer a simple “yes” or “no” but give a two hundred and fifty dissertation why we can’t do as asked.

Try it today. Surely someone is going to come up to you or telephone or even email you and ask you a question. Answer by stating, “yes” or “no,” and let it go at that. Try it. See how much of a burden is lifted from your shoulders.

It may feel a little awkward, or one may feel a little guilt-ridden, but eventually, like anything else will get easier.

The difficult part comes when someone follows by posing the question, “Why not?’

If a guy is asking a girl out on a date, she’s going to have to be up front with him why she doesn’t care to go out on a date with him. In my opinion, I believe that’s the proper way of doing things.

Another approach that I like better is to state, “That is very kind of you to think of me as to inviting me to accompany you to the Palace Theater. Let’s plan on something in the future.

Doesn’t that sound better than just saying, “No?”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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