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College student hoping to expose people to thoughts and ideas they might not necessarily come across on a regular basis.

All it takes is two words...

I promise.

These two words are tossed around so loosely and quickly that they've begun to lose their gravity. The question we have to ask ourselves is, what is a promise, anymore? All that is left in a promise is the surety of quick acquiescence. That we can get someone to say yes to our request sooner rather than later if we just say "I promise."

I promise to pay you back.

I promise I won't tell anyone.

I promise I'll [insert political policy here] when I am elected.

Eggs and oaths are easily broken. --Danish Proverb

How many excuses do we come up with, to avoid the responsibility we have burdened ourselves with? How many different ways can we find to say "Sorry, I lied"? We find every other way but that. We make excuses. We swear up and down that there is a good reason that our promise was broken. Or worse, maybe we promise that it won't happen again.

Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once. --Norman Vincent Peale

There are few ways to more quickly ruin a relationship than a broken promise. If you ever watch those court shows on television, you'll see one major theme that spans across all the shows. Somebody either promised something to another person, or is accused of promising something to another person.

The problem is that broken promises, and lies more broadly, not only build upon themselves, making it much more difficult to handle when things become complicated, but they also sow discontent. They create mistrust between peers, acquaintances, friends, family members, and even lovers.

There is a quote that I read once, and while I don't know the origin, and the situation did not deal with promises, I think it fits.

One time is chance, two times is coincidence, three times is enemy action. --Unknown

It is fairly easy to accept excuses for a person's failed attempt to keep a promise. Hell, sometimes we even make the excuses ourselves, hoping not to see the sad truth of the situation. In time, though, the niggling doubt grows. It presents itself more clearly every time we hear the words "I promise," until one day you just don't believe it anymore. And then it's over.

Without trust, there can be no foundation for a lasting relationship, romantic, friendly, or otherwise.

Promises are not obsolete. They are not pointless. But it's time to be more careful with how we use them. Save a promise for a day when you really mean it. For a situation where you fully intend, with 100% of your being, to fulfill said oath. It's not impossible, or even difficult, to express the same amount of sincerity without putting yourself in a tough situation.

The words, "I'll do the best I can," or "I'll see what I can do," or even, "I can't make any promises, but..."

A promise is a bond that is powerful. It connects people on a deeper level, and can lift them up to greater heights of friendship.

But it is also a chain that can be painfully dangerous. It binds two people together, and can drag them both down to despair.

Go easy on the promises. Be completely sincere when you mean them. Trust is essential to survival in such a social civilization as the one we live. Let us not destroy it for the momentary satisfaction of getting what we want.

Thanks for reading, I'll see you soon. :)


Thanks again to everyone who commented on the last post. As always, please leave comments letting me know what you think, good or bad. I value your thoughts and view points.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Alphabeta says:

    I tend not to make promises but when I do I do my utmost to keep them.
    I have slipped up from time to time though.

  2. Patti D. says:

    You are very right, some times you set the standards too high and then the disappointment is too hard.

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