Promises, promises

6 10 2010

Recently, several people have said things to me like: “I’ll pay you back tomorrow,”  “I will fix that for you,” “I’ll call you Monday,” or “Oh I’ll do that! It will be easy.” 

But when the time came, they were not able to follow through. Or they forgot. Or they just didn’t. Or they never planned to. One of the people told me later, “I was just dreaming when I told you I could do that.” Is that bizarre to anyone else, or is it just me?  

I don’t think any of these people meant to be lying to me –  never intending to do what they said – but at the very least it wasn’t very important to them that they keep their word. It makes me wonder if there is a growing trend toward making promises thoughtlessly and not really caring if they are kept.

When a person says they will do something, they have made a commitment. That is, if being honest is a priority with them. Maybe not a sacred vow or a contract written in blood, but an agreement nonetheless.

Trust is built when people do what they say (and do it when they said it would be done). I never know what someone has riding on my promise. I may not realize how important it is to them, or how much they may be depending on it.

I admire and applaud the many people who still believe in keeping their word. They stick to what they say rather than just shrugging off a promise when something better or more fun comes along. They are the ones employers, co-workers, coaches, and friends depend on.

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