My friend Rick and I were sitting and talking before the movies this weekend about people who say they are going to do something and then never follow through. It got me to thinking about how many times I have made plans and the other person did not show or call. This thought caused me to question, just what is our word worth?
Many times people fail to realize that our word has consequences. When we agree to do something and give our word it often sets off a series of events that our word has a major effect on. People change plans to accommodate what we said we were going to do. People budget on what people said they were going to give. People make things, prepare things and even purchase things just because we gave our word.
Unfortunately, we have all encountered people where their word does not seem to matter. Those of us who are true to our word can spot these people pretty quickly and it is likely that they do not not remain in our circle of friends for very long. If they do, shame on us. Unless there is a true emergency, the lack of respect for our time and commitment really is inexcusable. However, we also have a responsibility on our side to call out their actions, as often it has become such a pattern of behavior for the individual that do not even realize what they are doing. For them it is “the norm” as they have been allowed to get away with it for so long.
Our word is one thing that belongs solely to us. Only we have control over it and only we have the ability to deliver on it. It says a lot about who we are as individuals and the character that we portray to others. Sometimes it is innate, other times it is learned. At all times it is incredibly important to understand the value and the power that our word has.
My grandmother and parents always taught me that your word is golden. When I was in the military I was always told that if you were not 15 minutes early you were late. Throughout life I learned that people depended on my word to be true. That is why it is important to stop and think before you give your word to ensure that you are able to deliver. Our word should not be given to please someone, it should be given because we know in our heart we can follow through.
There will always be times when something comes up that is out of our control. In those instances a phone is usually in arms reach, especially today with our technological capabilities. In reality, those times should be rare. When they are rare, our ability to keep our word and reputation intact becomes all the more easier.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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