For this, the 300th of my blogs, it made sense to me to elaborate on a subject that means more to me than many others. It relates to keeping promises and fulfilling obligations. Among the many cultural trends that I observe, the failure of many to do what they say they are going to do leaves me frustrated and worried.

Here’s an example. Not long after we moved to New Mexico, we spent some time with a young man who was very charming and persuasive. Because of him and his enthusiasm, we were moved to make a major investment in our home. Among the other commitments he made to us, he assured me that I would receive part of his recent shipment of Kona coffee, something I truly love. My cupboard is still devoid of Kona.

From a different organization, we were promised a refund for our warehouse club membership as a demonstration of good faith from our purchase of another home improvement. This was right around Christmas time and we continue to wait for our check.

Why is it that people don’t believe that their assurances are as binding as their reputations? Prefacing the guarantee of something with “promise” or not doesn’t make a commitment any more or less sacrosanct. If I tell a client that I will have an edit done by tomorrow, he or she will receive it tomorrow if it requires my staying up all night to furnish it.

Is doing what we say we will do a vanishing habit? Can we tell our children that they will receive this or that and fail to have the item materialize? Absolutely not. When I tell a class that they will have pencils or candy by the end of the day, you and they can be certain that they will.

Don’t promise me something that you can’t provide. It’s a much better idea to indicate you’ll try or that you’ll make every attempt. In the event that the pledge is incomplete, I will believe that you have tried. We must keep our words. If those words are lies, ultimately so are we. Shalom.

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