Becky Says...

October 2005

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Promise - October 31

Late tonight I made a promise to a friend. I don't know if he'll need to take me up on it, but if he does, I'm prepared to follow through. If I hadn't been I wouldn't have made the promise.

I do not make promises lightly. If I tell you I'm going to do something, I intend, with all my heart and all my soul, to keep my word. This is true in part because my word is the most valuable thing I have. And in part because I remember being a little girl to whom a promise was made, then broken.

The promise itself was to bring me a golf ball. I was about age six, and one of my relatives had taken up the sport. I had never seen a real golf ball, and wondered how heavy they were. The adult son of our neighbors was a golfer, and I asked him the heaviness question. He gave me an answer, then promised that he would bring me a golf ball the next time he came to see his parents, so I could know for myself.

And he never did bring me a golf ball. I bet he promptly forgot it. I can, from this many years later, certainly understand the forgetting, but for some reason the incident sticks in my mind. I don't think I hold it against him, but then again, I haven't exactly given him another chance to keep or break a promise to me---our paths rarely cross.

Over the years, I think the things that have hurt me most in the world are broken promises. Not the vague ones, but the definite ones. They always leave me less willing to trust the person making the promise. Depending on the nature of the promise, and of the break, I may not ever trust that person again.

Since I never want to cause anyone else the same sort of pain, or to lose trust in me, I'm very cautious in terms of what I say I'll do. This is a promise I made to myself.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky