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Shannon Williams

                                                             Shannon Williams

Priorities are important.

As a matter of fact, priorities are important in all aspects of our lives — personally, professionally and even socially — when it comes to making split-second decisions that could drastically affect one’s life. However, as important as priorities are, not everyone establishes priorities, nor do they adhere to them if they are established.

Within the past several days, I encountered multiple individuals who obviously didn’t set priorities for themselves. Before I go further, let me clearly state that by no means am I judging anyone. We are all human beings, and we have our own lives to live. However, it can be frustrating when an individual makes certain decisions for themself, but either blames others for their predicament or makes a million excuses why they can’t do something.

Here’s an example:

I was visiting my cousin recently when I noticed his next-door neighbor was attentively washing his car. No big deal, right? Except the man’s grass was almost as high as his knee. Immediately, I thought perhaps his lawn mower broke, or maybe he didn’t have gas in the mower. I wondered to myself what I could do to help him: Offer him a few bucks for gas? Loan him a mower? Pay a kid in the neighborhood to cut his grass?

As if he were reading my mind, my cousin said, “Don’t try to figure it out, Cuz. He just doesn’t cut the grass until he gets ready to, no matter how high it gets or how bad he makes the neighborhood look. He is just so focused on that car.”

Apparently on multiple separate occasions in the past, my cousin and other neighbors tried to help the neighbor by offering to loan him their lawn mower. Each time, the man next door would tell them he’s “got it” and just didn’t feel like cutting the grass.

Interestingly, the neighbor often complains about the influx of Hispanics who have moved to the neighborhood, and he often makes disparaging statements like, “Those Mexicans bring the property value down and make the street look bad.”

Here’s another example:

I was in the checkout line at Kroger. The woman in front of me was caucasian and probably in her early 30s. As we were waiting in line, the woman was loudly talking on the phone, excited about a party she was having later that evening. She also bragged about the alcohol and food she was buying, which she stated would be much better than the refreshments at the person’s house they were at last week.

As she hung up the phone, it rang again, and she loudly answered it. Irritated, she yelled at the person on the other end, “I will pay the da*n bill when I have the money. I am struggling now and don’t have money to pay you.”

Shortly after that call ended, the woman in front of me called someone. She recalled the conversation with the bill collector to whom she had been speaking. Then she laughed and said, “YOLO (you only live once) so I am just doing me. Yeah, I should probably pay the bill, but YOLO!” By the time the cashier got to her, the young lady in front of me had two more conversations with people on the phone about what she would do when she got paid next. Among the items on her list were getting her nails done, buying clothing and going to “kick it at the club.”

As the cashier told her the total for her items, I suppose the woman either didn’t have enough money or she didn’t want to pay for a certain item. So she told the cashier she’d remove something to make the total lower. Can you guess what she decided not to buy?


I didn’t mention it earlier, but there was a child in her cart. The little girl was probably around 2 years old, and her pants were soiled; I could see the sagging diaper hanging inside the tightly fit cotton pants.

I could give you tons of other examples, like the woman who claims to never have enough money to get by, but when she was offered a job that allowed her to make her own schedule, she refused because she “didn’t feel like working.” I could also tell you about the college student who spent so much of last semester hanging out with the “in” crowd that he was too tired and unfocused to attend class. After receiving his grades and seeing that he failed four of his six courses, he blamed the professors for being too hard on him.

But instead of giving even more examples of instances where people don’t properly prioritize, I simply say to them and others like them: Get your stuff together.

Life is about more than the present — it’s about the future, and proper planning for the future is essential to one’s livelihood. If the future seems too far away for you, then think about the present and what things you can do differently now to improve your current state.

However, if you opt to ignore my advice, then at least stop blaming others for the decisions you make. Accept the consequences of your decisions and stop looking for others to fix your situation.



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