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whats a promise…


…if you dont intend to keep it? What’s it mean to “promise” something and not hold true to your word? I know many people have asked this same question, but if a promise isnt a promise then does it hold weight anymore?

Here’s the definition of promise per Webster’s.
Pronunciation: \ˈprä-məs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English promis, from Latin promissum, from neuter of promissus, past participle of promittere to send forth, promise, from pro- forth + mittere to send
Date: 15th century
1 a : a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified b : a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act
2 : reason to expect something ; especially : ground for expectation of success, improvement, or excellence

The reason I pose this question is that I have recently been made several promises, but have been let down each time. If we agree on a deadline, are we not held in a verbal contract to hold up our ends of the bargain? If I promise to help you move into a new apartment, do you not expect me to come through? Whether its school work, business, or in our social lives, are we floating the word “promise” like we do the word love? Love is a word that has so many variations, so many levels that it is used all too often without truly stopping to think about the immense impact it holds. The full spectrum of human emotion can be held in only three little words, “I love you.” Think about the first time someone told you they loved you? How did it feel? Was it in 7th grade outside Rachel’s house and you didnt know what the hell to do? (I doubt that was you because it was me) Was it the first time you had sex and that other “special” person tells you she’s in love…. with Dan? (that’s weird because my name is Matt. Who’s Dan? Ill go cry in my corner now)

Now think about the first time you really, truly, without a shadow of a doubt, spoke those words and meant it will all your breath. Remember the tingle, the heat and emotional state you were in as those words left your cortex, crossed your lips, and were given to the world. Now think about how both “love” and “promise” coincide. With love comes promise, but if we are not holding true to each of those words’ meanings then arent we in some round about way cheating ourselves? Just like in love, promise holds expectation and can be absolutely crushing when not taken seriously by both parties. Yes, I know that a promise is still a different degree than love, but do you not “promise to take care of each other until death do you part?” See my correlation here.

The promises that I was originally talking about have to do with business, but got me thinking about how its meaning has changed throughout my life. Back in the day, I promised to be your best friend and we wrote that promise in blood. It was innocent and with all our hearts we believed in it. To this day, we are still friends bound by the promises of our youth. Childish I know, but hear me out. In the military I learned about integrity and how that is the most important characteristic a person could have. Without that type of moral integrity, how do I know you are going to do what your supposed to when no one is looking? I never had to question with my fellow Airmen especially when it came to combat. I didnt have to look over my shoulder because you were there to do it for me. Now in business, an invoice with a delivery date is a contract. Not like blood brothers, not like my military brethern, something different. A little more cold since money is involved but if we are business partners, should we not have a mutual respect for one another and when promises are broken, where does that leave us?

I know where it leaves me. I dont keep people around that dont come through. This isnt a threat by any means, just a statement. A statement that I have patience for those that I care about and for those that care about me. Some people will forever walk on me and I will still be there when they need it, that’s just part of me being me. I have understanding when a reason validates your absence, but lying and avoiding the situation are two totally different things. For these few, dont expect to be around very long. You had your chances and burned your last bridge. No malice here at all, no violence is to come of this I promise. In fact, I am somewhat sad because you ruined the good thing we had going. Time to move on without you. I wish you well.

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