However devious you might consider Jack Worthing to be , I think he was on to something.
Oscar Wilde's character had an incredible amount of responsibility in addition to a grand reputation to uphold. With all that to deal with, I wouldn't be surprised if he slumped in his large leather chair at night wondering what the hell he got himself into.
In response to these overwhelming pressures, Jack had decided to fabricate himself a brother named Earnest who was constantly finding himself in situations that Jack needed to get him out of. What an intelligent way of creating a way out - a much needed vacation.
To an extent we all give ourselves these excuses to escape from the reality of our lives. I'm not talking about reasons for procrastination though. I'm referring mainly to that tendency that we have to create a justification for whatever wrong/irresponsible act we all claim to fall victim to.
A person handicapping their ability to perform at a sporting event by not practicing might sound absurd but it happens. It is usually the case that the individual fears failure and is under immense pressure to succeed.The twisted logic here is that, although they will indeed fail, they would have created themselves an excuse such as, "I was too busy to practice the way I would have liked and had my life been less hectic, I surely would have excelled in the match". This, of course, will bring about some sympathy from others and from the person that tends to judge you the most: you.
Don't think you do this? Consider:
Recently, I didn't feel like doing an assignment so I made the excuse that it was unfair. In reality, I thought it was actually a fair albeit challenging test of knowledge. By allowing myself to believe in the assignments "unfairness", I didn't feel as irresponsible when I continuously put it off.
In any case, the more symbolic side of this play lies behind the word earnest and it is this feeling of doing something whole-heartedly that I wish to discuss.
I have always tried to live my life with passion and feeling. Although I do find this difficult and futile at times, I feel that this is a necessary part of my self-concept and an indication of how successful and happy I am at the moment.
I could have written the last few months but I would not have done so earnestly and the thought of doing something half-heartedly feels like defeat to me.
By making a point of being thoughtful about the events of my life, I usually manage to find something that sparks my interest and develops my passions. What normally follows is that I find myself making less excuses about having to get things done. Everything turns into challenge in which I have the opportunity to test my capabilities, stretch my intellectual limits and add to my achievements.
What's not exciting about that?
Maybe Jack needed some passion...
(photo credit: thebigTopHat)