Empty Promise

27 Jun 2019

 

What is life if it’s devoid of promise? 

 

‘Promise’ - a simple word that encapsulates so much – hope, trust, purpose, expectation, integrity, and meaning. 

 

The promise of a new day is in essence that beacon of light, the thing that keeps you going, propels you forward. 

 

It’s lined with potential and filled with possibility. 

 

But today, the prevailing trend is one of empty promise. 

 

Whether it’s a politician, friend, work, colleague or a loved one, or even indeed ourselves, we take on a promise with a grain of salt.

 

No expectation for it to be fulfilled, no disappointment when it’s not. 

 

The consistent let downs embedding within us a sense of distrust and cynicism.

 

You’ve been let down so many times, why should this time be any different? 

 

But the question is.

 

When was the last time you made a promise? 

 

When was the last time you even made a promise to yourself? 

 

When was the last time you made a promise to someone else which you upheld, despite the difficulty in doing so?

 

Instead of ensuring we uphold our own promises, we allow ourselves instead to get bitter and resentful with others, when they don't uphold theirs. 

 

Why should you uphold your promise if no one else will? 

 

Well firstly, because you can.

 

Secondly because that’s where integrity and trust is established

 

Thirdly, because it helps you quickly filter out those who can be relied upon and those who can't

 

And finally, because it calls on you and everyone around you to be better and to do better - because you can’t expect of others what you yourself won’t do, it sets a standard.

 

But instead of asking more of ourselves, we seem increasingly inclined to do less.

 

To promise less

 

Limiting ourselves by harbouring a fear of commitment. 

 

A fear of being disappointed when your good will is not reciprocated

 

Make no mistake, keeping a promise is hard, and opting out seems much easier - but it's in this hardship that you really grow.

 

You shouldn't keep your promises just so others do the same; you keep them because it’s the right thing to do.

 

You make them, because it elevates your whole state of being and says something about who you are.

 

You take that responsibility upon your self because that’s where meaning is found, despite all the difficulties that come with it.

 

A life empty of promise is a life devoid of any meaning.

 

It’s a life devoid of trust

 

It’s a life devoid of hope

 

It’s a cynical life embedded in fear, bitterness and resentment.

 

It’s a life of broken bonds, fragmented relationships, families, and communities

 

But ultimately it's baseless, a life with no foundation on which to build anything on. 

 

To restore that promise, all you have to do is make a commitment to keep yours and don’t be afraid to hold others to some account when they don’t keep theirs.

 

Simple.

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