No Guts, No Glory

June 11, 2004

Hypothetically, what is it we should do with people who “over-extend” themselves and then we’re left to clean up the mess? (editor’s note: “over-extend” is used in little quotations – like raising both hands and signaling with the first two fingers of each hand that it’s in quotations – “over-extended” people do this because, by their very nature, they are pretentious.)

Say for example, you set up a very important event. Could be a theatrical play, could be an important dinner fund-raiser, could be a wedding. Could be anything. Anyway, you’ve arranged this event. You send out invitations. You notify the participants of their expected duties well in advance of the actual event. Everything falls into place after a great deal of hard work and effort.

Then the day of the event, say for a wedding, or during the rehearsals, for a play, one of the participants (please note, this is a participant, not a guest) arrives to say they’ve “over-extended” themselves and can’t participate; like the best man in the wedding, or one of the actors in the play or your key-note speaker at the dinner.

Now, what do you do? You might thank them for being up front and honest enough to recognize the fact that they are “over-extended.” (editor’s note: along with the “quotations” we now must add a mocking little cute voice to this word.) After all, they could have instead just simply proven that they were people of integrity and stuck to their commitments, but that would be asking way too much. Thankfully, they recognized their shortcoming and dealt with it, they are relieved of their commitments and can now progress with their lives, oblivious to the effect they’ve had on the lives of others, safe in the knowledge that they’ve take care of the “me, myself and I.” We should applaud this should we not?

Of course, there’s also the fact that if they had any real character that they would actually avoid “over-extending” themselves in the first place, there-by causing less damage to the world around them. But, in this day and age, the age where “everyone else is to blame – no single individual is ever responsible” that would probably be too demanding a request, not “PC” enough, not ‘tolerant’ and I’d most likely be branded a fanatical chauvinistic, fascist, heathen pig.

The last time I checked, a man’s word (and you can include women, dogs, cats, wombats, etc. in there as well) was a sign of integrity, character, and honor. But then, I’m probably not a particularly “modernized” person. I’m not “with the times.” See, I guess I am just an old-fashioned kind of guy. I want someone to commit to something and if it means they can’t do other things because of that commitment than they should just knuckle down, suck it up and do the deed. How does it reflect to our children (our future generations) and the world around us if “over-extending” ourselves is our mirror?

Yeah, you can call me a fanatic, that’s fine. But I’ve quit before, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, I can be forgiving. Believe me or not. I’d rather die trying and fail, then give up. Read Teddy’s quote one more time down the page. Have some guts. Have some courage. Go on, I dare you.