Trust and reliability are traits that are very important to me. Throughout my life I have encountered many people who habitually lied about things they were going to do for me or with me, others that lied about rumors and others that lied about whatever was most convenient. Often times they made promises and then broke them. I began to lose trust for people, even my closest friends. I realized how much it hurt to be lied to, to be disappointed, and to have promises broken. However there was always one person in my life who lived by the golden rule of never breaking a promise – my mother. When my mother made a promise, it was good as gold. It helped strengthen our relationship because it helped me develop a better sense of dependability towards her. I looked up to that about her. My father was never a big part of my life and one day when I was in 7th grade he made me a promise to take me hunting with him. Ii was excited to finally have the chance to form a bond with my father. He broke that promise. I felt unloved and heartbroken. That was the last straw for me and I lost trust for my father altogether after that. I then came to the conclusion that I would adopt my mother’s “never break a promise” code into my life. Before then, I felt like a promise was something relatively nominal. A promise was something simply crossing your fingers or toes could exempt you from. From that moment on, there were no loopholes to promises in my opinion. If I promise it, it’s money.
That statement may seem trivial to some, but many others don’t hold this value. Many people use the word “promise” like they use the word “love” – because they sound good. In today’s society, lies and deception are implanted in everything from news coverage to politics – and we’ve all seen the show where one person is utterly screwed because they gave someone confidential information that gets exposed because the person who “promised not to tell” had their fingers crossed. Even if other people’s disregard for promises don’t stem from the media, much like taking the word “love” seriously I believe a true appreciation for the word “promise” only comes from being hurt by the misuse of these words. Simply put, others may not believe that a promise is an unbreakable vow the way I do because they haven’t been deeply hurt by someone who broke a promise to them. Therefore others may look at the word with nonchalance while I look at it with the utmost seriousness.
I think the biggest problem with others keeping promises is them not thoroughly thinking it through before using that word. I imagine that the people who disagree with my belief that a promise is an unbreakable vow have been inconveniently trapped by a promise that they made. For example, people who think they are in love may promise to never hurt their partner, or never leave their partner. As time passes, feelings may change and they may feel like the promise they made was ill advised. This may cause them to put their personal feelings before their obligation to keeping their promise. After that one could promise never to tell a particular secret but eventually, time may pass and the secret may end up being too much to hold and the promise may be broken. Once the first promise is broken, no matter the reason, it would probably make it much easier for a person to break another promise. Eventually, the value of the word would be lost to that person.
As for me, I always live by the question – What’s a man without his word?