A MAN and his wife were having a “heart-to-heart” talk. She said: “You never listen to me. Every time I talk to you, you get this far-away look in your eyes.” He says the last thing he remembers saying was: “I’m sorry, what were you talking about?”.

Sometimes we just don’t get it.

Jesus once told the story of a rich man who had the best of gear and lived in a fancy house. At his gate lay a beggar. Every day the rich man had to pass him by. He never noticed him. For that beggar was a nobody in the rich man’s world.

Society at large, and sometimes we as individuals, turn a blind eye to the need that is around us. There’s always an excuse.

I remember hearing of nine soldiers who were on leave. Their officer was mad when they were late for roll call.

The first said: “I had a date and lost track of the time, and missed the bus back. But then I hired a taxi.

“Halfway there, the taxi broke down. I went to a farm and asked if I could borrow a horse. I was riding to camp when the animal fell dead. I walked the last ten miles, and just got here.”

The officer let the young man off with a reprimand. However seven others came in with the same story. By the time the ninth arrived the officer had heard enough.

The soldier said: “I had a date, missed the bus and hired a taxi.” The officer said: “Don’t tell me, it broke down.”

“No,” said the soldier. “The taxi was fine. There were so many dead horses on the road, we had trouble getting through.”

As they say, one excuse is as good as another for avoiding action.

We are like Bobby and Billy, two brothers asked to cut the grass and trim the hedge while their parents were away. When they returned, nothing had been done. Dad asked Bobby: “What have you been doing?” Bobby replied “Nothing.” Dad turned to Billy and asked: “What have you been doing?” Billy replied: “Helping Bobby.”

The health inequality of our nation is a disgrace. Your life span dictated by where you live. Child poverty is a disgrace. But there is always an excuse. Isn’t there?