When I was very young, I think I was maybe six or seven, I promised my mom I would pick the cilantro in our backyard. She looked at me and said, “You made a promise. That means you have to keep your word, ok?” I was confused, because I didn’t know the concept of “keeping your word”. She explained that when you make a promise to do something, that means you WILL do it, end of discussion. I asked her what happens if I can’t keep my promise for some reason. And she said that if I have any doubts, then I should only promise to try.
Anyway, I was listening to XM a few days ago in my friend’s car. She was listening to the Oprah Channel (personally, I don’t care for Oprah Winfrey, but some people get something out of her shows). There was a break in the ongoing sob story, to promote Dr. Robin Smith’s new show. And that’s when I had a very bad wake-up call. Here was a psychologist, so-called, telling people that it’s ok to break a promise if you don’t feel you can fulfil it. She went on to say that it was best to put one’s needs first, and be relieved of the burden of keeping that promise.
I was appalled. It took me a long time to figure out what the value of one’s word is. I understand the failure to keep it, and have hurt others because of it. But that has taught me that making a promise is a bond. It stems from your character. It’s part of what makes one trustworthy and reliable. But here is a professional telling others that a promise is not worth keeping. Yes, there are certain circumstances when you can’t keep a promise. But not keeping it because oh, it’s just too hard???
Sorry, no. My word is my bond. If it is too difficult to keep a promise, don’t make one. That’s simple enough.
Now, if y’all will excuse me, a friend asked that I acquire some lavender mint tea for her from our local supermarket. They have been out the past four times I have gone shopping, but I made a promise to her to get it, and I aim to keep it. Here’s hoping fifth time’s the charm 😀