I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


A Promise And The Apology


Promises like apologies are acts of free will. They are given uncoerced. Given, not simply offered.

A promise is a commitment, a pledge to do something or refrain from doing something. It is an act of honesty. It gives the person to whom the promise is made the confidence that something will be done or not done, in other words the promise will be kept.

An apology is offered in the same way. It’s an admission of error. It’s an expressed regret for something we did that we deem wrong, incorrect. It is offered, should be offered, sincerely because the person truly feels remorseful for their actions. It is not offered because it’s expected but because it’s felt.

An apology is not offered to get something back; it is offered because we sincerely regret an action that caused harm. Even if after we apologize we might err again.

Promises and apologies are made with the desire to right the wrong without expecting anything in return. A promise is not made to get something in exchange; it is made because we simply want to make a promise that will yield a positive benefit.

Promises…promises are made with the intent to be kept. They are not conditioned to “unless…" Or “only if...”. They are made to be kept.

I have made promises that I intended to keep and many I have not kept. Many of the ones I failed were/are about my temper. Some made to my kids “I promise I won’t yell again”. And when I have failed I have felt like crap. I have not rested until I apologized. Isn’t that the way we should feel when we break a promise? We can’t simply wipe our hands in our pants, shrug our shoulders and sigh “oh well, I couldn’t keep my promise”. It is more than that. I have failed myself more than I have failed others. We are breaking not only a promise but the trust a person put in us.

Breaking a promise is damaging. It hurts the person who trusted our promise will be kept. It damages the trust we have in them or they have in us. Promises and trust are not resilient. They cannot be broken and renew each time.

Promises and Apologies are acts of honesty, if honesty is not present, they should not be made at all. They’ll only cause damage.