Words

Friday night has come and gone and a week of vacation is coming to an end. The past few weeks have been among the craziest in memory and I find myself thinking about promises made and promises kept. I think about my life and the lives of those around me and I wonder if I have disappointed some people to the same degree with which they have disappointed me.

People who were among the most dear and most important to me haven’t followed through on their promises and I am at a loss. My inclination is to provide them with an excuse that will allow me to let it go. My inclination is to shrug my shoulders and say that we all make mistakes, we all fall short and let bygones be bygones.

But the thing is that the anger that accompanies that feeling of disappointment doesn’t provide much latitude. I don’t make many promises. I am hard to pin down but when I do I follow through- even if it is slow, I follow through. So I can’t help but be irritated by those that don’t. I can’t help but wonder about their “words” and feel like they took advantage of me. I am not just disappointed in them but myself. I look backwards and ask if I could have avoided these situations. I look backwards and try to find the signs that could have helped avoid these moments.

Words should be worth more. Words should be taken more seriously, but they are not.

So I sit here thinking about what I have said, what I say and what I will say. I think of the promises that I have made and wonder what promises I’ll make for the future. In the midst of my disappointment and anger there is still that focus/awareness on doing better. That has to be the goal. If I can’t live up to the standards I demand than I have no business living- so every day the goal is to put the time in and do something about it.

The last thing I want is to do is fall short of these goals. And that is all I have to say on that.

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20 Comments

  1. TheJackB August 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    @AFoggyMama Sometimes that is enough.

  2. AFoggyMama August 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Talk is cheap. Sorry, but that’s all I got.

  3. TheJackB August 22, 2011 at 12:31 am

    @marianne.worley That last line is something that I understand better than I want to. I am lucky that I have a few people that I trust implicitly, but most of the time it is just me. I don’t make promises that I don’t keep.

    It is too damn hard and frustrating.

  4. marianne.worley August 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I could have written this post myself, Jack. I believe that promises are meant to be kept, and I am constantly disappointed and angered by people who don’t follow through on the simplest agreements. It’s hard to admit, but I have lost trust in some of my closest family members, and I don’t count on them for anything.

    It reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of I Love Lucy, Bonus Bucks. Here’s the quote:

    Lucy: (after Lucy and Ethel tear the bonus buck) All right, Ethel, give me your half and I’ll paste them together. (holding out her hand)

    Ethel: No, you give me your half.

    Lucy: Why, Ethel Mertz! Don’t you trust me?

    Ethel: No!

    Lucy: (shocked) What an awful thing to say!

    Ethel: Well, you don’t trust ME!

    Lucy: That’s different! I KNOW I can trust me!

    Yep, I can’t always trust other people to come through for me, but I know I can trust me.

  5. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    @subWOW Now I am curious. Were you trained not to believe people because of something cultural or was it something else?

    I think that part of why I was so irritated is because normally I wouldn’t take people at their word, not like this but….

  6. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    @StartYourNovel Conan is a great character and not just because Crom forces him to be. Simple wisdom but wisdom nonetheless- be good or my broadsword will help finish what the barber started.

    People certainly are a mixed bag- without a doubt.

  7. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    @psychicjazz That is the trick- seeing people for who they are without all of the distractions and craziness that life presents. But all that tension and turmoil is part of what makes us who we are.

  8. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    @kelleynettles Thanks Kelley. It will get better because i’ll make it happen. There has been a lot going on and I have been low on patience- but better is coming soon.

  9. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    @Hajra The best part of being a dreamer is that we are granted buckets of courage and plenty of gumption. Good old gumption, one can never be given too much of that. The hard part is trying to let go of the things that aren’t important and determining what is.

  10. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    @LetMeStart FWIW, I have read and reread this post a few times too for the same reasons. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to process and absorb all that is going on.

  11. TheJackB August 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    @BetsyKCross Hey Betsy. Hope you had a great Saturday. I try to take things at face value. Sometimes I am good at it and others…not so good.

  12. subWOW August 20, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Maybe because I have been trained since young that people don’t always say what they mean, and sometimes they are expected to say things just to be polite (e.g. saying YES when they don’t mean it), I have learned to not take people’s word for it. And when they do keep their promises, I am so surprised and delighted even though most of the time they are just doing their jobs. How’s that for screwed up?

    Sorry for the disappointment you have to deal with… I hope they eventually come through.

  13. StartYourNovel August 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Words aren’t worth more because Western society is living through a period of decreased interpersonal violence.

    Put simply, people know you’re not going to punch them in the face for breaking a promise. (Real life isn’t Hollywood: everyone knows throwing punches doesn’t really work as a long-term problem-solving strategy.)

    So they feel freer to promise things and not follow through.

    Let me paraphrase Conan the Barbarian:

    “Civilized men are rude because they do not fear. In the wild, you must be speak politely to the strangers you meet, or you risk getting your skull split with an ax.” Words to that effect.

    Reciprocity is hard. Where the prospect of retribution is (next to) nonexistent, people who keep their promises are to be treasured.

    That said, some mean well, others go through the motions. They’re a mixed bag, people are.

  14. psychicjazz August 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I will have to say that people do mean well…but they are all going through different emotional battles that sometimes lead to not following through. So many times we RUN AWAY from ourselves, that our actions speak highly for us in this regard. Just have to pay attention. See the person for what they truly are — without the struggles that surround them (that surround many people in “different” ways) throughout the centuries.

  15. kelleynettles August 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

    This was written so well! I agree that words should be worth more. People sometimes just don’t see the need to uphold their end of the “deal”, unfortunately. I am sorry you have had some disappoitnment recently. I hope it gets much, much better soon!

  16. Hajra August 20, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Words do have an important impact, the whole idea is that have we realized the effect of our words and how others are hearing them. Go for promises which you think or at least have the resources to fulfill. Having being promised so much and then having to go in for a shock becomes very disheartening. Hope you have the courage to bear the troubles… 🙂

  17. LetMeStart August 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Holy crap, it is like you have been in my brain for the past few weeks. I have been mulling over the same thing, and have been so, so frustrated over it. Offended one minute, then feeling a fool the next. You put into words perfectly what I have been feeling. I think I’ll read this one a couple more times this week to help me process my own shizz. Thanks for this.

  18. BetsyKCross August 20, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Mornin’ Jack!

    I used to believe what people said to me in the” heat of the moment”. I just hear words now. I’m not a pessimist. I just know that people mean well, but they don’t consider that I believe in and count on their integrity. It’s rare that I trust someone’s offer to help because I’ve seen how life can hijack someone so randomly. So I listen and nod my head and walk away from the moment knowing full well that I can figure it out on my own if all else fails! Sounds so depressing, but it keeps me from getting disappointed and allows for the possibility that I MIGHT be pleasantly surprised when someone actually does what they said they’d do!

    “And that is all I have to say on that.” Great ending!

    Betsy

  19. BetsyKCross August 20, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Mornin’ Jack!

    I used to believe what people said to me in the” heat of the moment”. I just hear words now. I’m not a pessimist. I just know that people mean well, but they don’t consider that I believe in and count on their integrity. It’s rare that I trust someone’s offer to help because I’ve seen how life can hijack someone so randomly. So I listen and nod my head and walk away from the moment knowing full well that I can figure it out on my own if all else fails! Sounds so depressing, but it keeps me from getting disappointed and allows for the possibility that I MIGHT be pleasantly surprised when someone actually does what they said they’d do!

    “And that is all I have to say on that.” Great ending!

    Betsy

  20. BetsyKCross August 20, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Mornin’ Jack!

    “And that is all I have to say on that.” Great ending!

    I used to believe what people said to me in the” heat of the moment”. I just hear words now. I’m not a pessimist. I just know that people mean well, but they don’t consider that I believe in and count on their integrity. It’s rare that I trust someone’s offer to help because I’ve seen how life can hijack someone so randomly. So I listen and nod my head and walk away from the moment knowing full well that I can figure it out on my own if all else fails! Sounds so depressing, but it keeps me from getting disappointed and allows for the possibility that I MIGHT be pleasantly surprised when someone actually does what they said they’d do!

    “And that is all I have to say on that.” Great ending!

    Betsy

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