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promise - Musings of Unayok

2004 Jun 30

12:52promise 

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Promises made to me don't carry much weight.

They're just words. Sometimes heartfelt, and truly, honestly pledged. Sometimes, made in a temporising manner to avoid some immediate problem. But in the end, all just words. Financial, emotional, physical, spiritual promises. All just words. Large, small, immediate, life-long. Words. They rarely coincide with the actions they detail.

It's in aggregate that this is an issue for the most part. An individual promise... well, usually it just floats right past these days. I end up putting very little emotional investment in it — not in happy expectation of its fulfillment, nor in comfort of its reassurance, nor in fear of its failure. Often it just becomes noise added to the conversation. I'm detached from the semantic content of the statement as well as its intent. The detachment disturbs me because promises are supposed to be connections and my connections to those I care about are very important to who I am.

I do wonder how this affects the promises I make. I try to follow through, and I don't make promises I don't intend on following through on. I definitely know I'm not perfect. Just hope I'm not being as bad about promises I make as those that have been made to me.

(to be clear: this is a philosophical and rhetorical entry, not an angsty-and-looking-for-reassurance one)

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Comments:

From:okana
Date:2004 Jun 30 - 11:00 (UTC)
I'm the opposite. I believe in other peoples' promises, and I rely on them being kept. I hold people to them as well. Sometimes it's annoying, troublesome, or worse when someone doesn't feel that their promises carry much weight, but I find there's a fulfilling sense of certainty to be gained from a promise from someone I really trust.

I wouldn't break my word, and I'm glad most some people wouldn't either.
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From:unayok
Date:2004 Jun 30 - 11:37 (UTC)
"most some"? :)

Trust, I find, grows out of actions, not promises. When the trust is deep enough, words are unnecessary. That's what I can then rely on.

It doesn't happen much.

unay

From:okana
Date:2004 Jun 30 - 22:38 (UTC)
I have this tragic flaw wherein I can't spot my written errors in grammar and spelling no matter how many times I try. Alas, Livejournal has no tools to help the likes of me. And it probably doesn't help that I'm the kind of person who tends to edit posts and replies several times to try to say what I'm really trying to say.

Anyway, what I think I was trying to say was that I put a lot of faith in promises because if those promises do in fact end up corresponding with the actions, then I know I've found someone whom I can trust. Kept promises mean kept trust, and I suppose that's essentially what I look for.

For me, it happens fairly often. Sometimes it's just hard knowing where to look.
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From:augie_hyena
Date:2004 Jul 02 - 06:14 (UTC)
Promises...Hmm...not sure where I sand on that. Pointing at myself, I don't give promises. I give my word. People have tried to make me promise that I would return to Iraq unharmed. That was a promise I can't give, I can only tell a person that I'll do what I can in my power to return home, nothing more or less.

I guess a person can take a promise as a form of assurance or someones word with some insurance. Some people get the impression that between someone's word and a promise is that someone will give extra priority in a task (or whatever) that is labled as a promise. That's just my assumption.

Though I dont know where a really sand to someone's promise toward me. Perhaps it's the thought that counts? Not sure, some people's actions has discredited the word promise and make it turn into something taken lightly. I guess at one time, a promise was somthing of a word of honor.
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From:unayok
Date:2004 Jul 02 - 08:00 (UTC)
A "promise" and "your word" are supposed to be the same thing, as you basically said in the last sentence.

My experience (and yours, it seems) is that they no longer are. This is part of what started this whole entry.

unay