Your Word

Recently I have been more and more concerned with the lost responsibility of the hand shake and promise. There was a time when if you gave your word, said you were going to do something or promised something it was as good as done. Today that is a thing of the past. In business seldom does anyone do what they say they are going to do. They make commitments and then beat up the facts to justify their own lack of performance. In personal lives it is the same MO, promise one thing and do another. Yet we stand back and cast judgments of our politicians for their lack of integrity. Why should our leaders do what they say they will do when the country no longer sees a promise, hand shake or commitment worth keeping? I wonder if we undermined our country inch by inch.

So here it is, the good God fearing people, upstanding citizens are no longer feeling any pressure to do as they promised. Oh yes, by the way if you tell someone you will do something it is a promise; you do not have to sign it in blood.

If you have been reading my blogs you probably have some idea that I had a past best not spoken, I have spent some time with some very interesting people when I was a young man. Some of my friends from my younger years were capable of a lot of things the real world would look down on and the authorities would  have even a dimmer view of.  Having said that I need to reflect on something that sticks in my mind and causes me to miss parts of my past.  You see when I was younger and associated with the so called wrong people I never had a contract only handshakes. In all the deals and all the years, never did I have any one of the people I associated with break their word even for a day. If something was to be so on Tuesday at 3pm it was, end of storey. There was no code just men and woman who respected themselves and one another. They felt a responsibility to their word that drove them.

Enter my first cancer which took me off the street and after years of reading and growing put me in a legal, accepted world. So here I am for many years dealing with the upstanding citizens of our country, well, it is an excepted practice to have people not perform as they said they would and think nothing of it. They just give an excuse and go on. They do not feel any responsibility for their lack of punctuality or total lack of performance on their promise.

We have become a society where our integrity is not lost, it does not exist. It is accepted to not perform as promised and think it is ok, because it is. Hell everyone does it all the time. Fact is we teach our children from the very beginning in so many little ways to let things go because other things happened and we could not do what was promised.  We watch a politician lie and then we stand up for the party and vote for him or her again, there is something wrong with that, real wrong. It certainly sends the wrong message to everyone around us and the politicians (just for the record this is not party specific).

I miss the people I spent part of my life with. I miss the integrity, the pride in someone that would stake his life to meet his promise. We are killing our country inch by inch and doing it very methodically. It is now at the point in our society where we think ‘why should I do everything I said, no one else does’. I will go farther, we do not even think about breaking our promises we just do it.

Looking deeper at this there are a few exceptions to the new rule of order, guess what they are living amongst us and keeping their mouth shut. They see the new order and move in different circles than most. And this I will tell you they have better, fuller lives. I have the good fortune to do business with a few and I love it. If they tell you something it is law. Fact is, if they say they will do something and it does not happen; send flowers to their spouse, because they died.

Integrity, it builds strong lives, relationships, family, fortunes, spirituality and somehow it improves your health. We were meant to be honorable not carefree of our responsibility or our word. We were designed to fulfill our obligations and stay the course. Those who feel an internal drive to be responsible to their word rise above all the turmoil the world is struggling in. and those who just think no one is looking and I can do as I please, well the natural order of things handles them and they live in constant turmoil riding the rollercoaster of life with its highs and lows, giving way to mostly lows.

Here is an idea a man told me once, “shut up” that is what I heard him say to a young man that worked for him. He said “from now on shut the f_ _ _  up, don’t speak, don’t let me hear you talking to anyone about what you are going to do. If you want to tell me you are going somewhere or doing something write it down and sign it. Then hand it to me and when you start keeping your word you can once again join my world and be a man”. The young man just stood there and then he left (he new better than to speak). I thought he was going to quit working as a driver for my friend (I knew that was not an option). Just then my friend walked to the door as the young man left and my friend said “if at any time before you get your act together you decide to quit, I will send someone to come get you, beat you’re a_ _ and bring you to work. “

The young man stayed working for my friend and became one of the trusted men in his company, Those were different times. The lesson that young man was taught has served him well. He now has a wife and children and when I see him once every 5 years we laugh at that day, one day he has said to me “to bad the rest of the world never learned how important what you say you will do is”.

You see I was lucky, I was raised by a very special no option Dad and I cannot tell you how many times I heard these words “you will be dead some day and the only thing you take with you will be your word, keep it solid, and everything you say is your word” He was right on target.

What I have also observed is the trail you lay for your family, your actions, lead to their destiny. Like it or not they are destined to be responsible for what parents do,  it is not as simple as a young man behaving badly because he had a bad upbringing, fact is, not only does a person with a troubled life have to change, become informed and educated to succeed in life they have the burden of what their parents did. How does it work? Well I do not know I just know. I do know it is written in every important writing since the beginning of time and I see it played out every day. The thought of my daughter having to suffer for a moment because of my actions sticks in my chest like a knife 24/7.

A special person lays a rout his or her family will inevitably follow to a better life, a person who moves through life with questionable actions leads his offspring to a desperate dreary life.

Just because most people you work with or socialize with say things they never do it is not ok for you to do the same. Lets one by one rise above the now in place standard and change our world first and then the world of others by example. It is easier than you think.


~ by samcasternovia on January 29, 2011.

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