Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Resolutions?

Promises made were meant to be broken. This appears to be a truism more and more in this society and times. We hear so many politicians make them, only to get elected, without any compunction of conscience it seems, when they break them. We see more and more couples breaking up and breaking their promise to each other at the altar. We hear of prenuptial agreement. Doesn’t this in itself say that both signers of that agreement suspect that their promises at the altar will not be kept?

Does the idea behind making a promise get so lost in the scheme of things that they have become a worthless set of principles? There was a time when only a handshake sealed a business deal or declared a friendship. Now if that deal is not a written contract it is a worthless deal. Promises, it seems, no longer have any meaning to people unless it is a promise from someone else. Yet, we declare that promises kept are the backbone of anyone who seeks to possess integrity.

You cannot buy promises kept. You can only buy those promises that were never intended on being kept in the first place. Then when it is broken, blame is never accepted for it but excuses come by the hundreds in finding blame elsewhere.

It is useless in this day and age to even try to make a promise meant to be kept. It is far better to just do the thing without making a promise in the manner that you would have if you had made a promise. That way there can be no accusations of broken promises when you do not follow through and the things that you did do are known within yourself as a promise kept. It would seem to me that any promise given is first made to yourself and to another secondly.

We hear a lot about how dysfunctional this society is today. I wonder if we were to trace that dysfunction back to the source, we might find that the cause is due to broken promises? Isn’t the very fiber of this nation based upon the promises found in the Constitution? It is promises made in that document that is the very glue that unites this nation. It was broken promises that prompted the creation of this document in the first place. It was the broken promises that lead to a war where brother fought against brother.

This is a New Year. A time that we each make promises for the year. How many of those promises are we really committing ourselves to fulfill this year? If we are not committed to fulfill them then of what purpose did it serve to make that promise in the first place? Has the idea of the meaning of integrity been so watered down that we make promises in a haphazard way these days? Maybe integrity is not lost if the only person that knows a promise was made is himself or herself.

I don’t know, but I do know this. It saddens me to know that our children and grandchildren will grow up never knowing the feeling one gets when a business deal is confidently consummated by a handshake alone. They will never understand the feeling of integrity in its original meaning, the feeling of pride that comes from trust declared in that handshake. We seem to have lost that feeling when we, as a society, decided we could solve all of societies problems with money.

Life itself is a time for learning all that we can. It seems, though, that the more we learn about life, the less we know, in regards to that which is important for the journey of life. However, as he shrugs his shoulders, that is only a gripe of one man.

26 comments:

Average American said...

Good subject in this post Griper. I don't promise to do, I promise to try. If our politicians would follow that example, they might actually get some good ratings for a change. I get so sick of their promises that I know full well are beyond the scope of the office which they seek. They can't even see how foolish they sound when they do it. Integrity and trustworthiness are almost lost traits these days. Very few of us still possess them.

The Griper said...

ever notice tho, AA that only those who fail in their promises are the ones who say "i tried" and those who succeed say "i did"

"I get so sick of their promises that I know full well are beyond the scope of the office which they seek. "

yup, i agree, if one would think about it, only a dictator can keep a promise like that.

and society is making it harder each day for those of us who do possess it.

tweetey30 said...

I dont make resolutions because I know I dont keep them . I make things accomplishments I want to do instead. My accomplishments for this year are getting better on the headsets at work and staying fit at the YMCA with my family.

BB-Idaho said...

Apologies for veering, but I suspect that Griper's Grandpa suggested the topic for this year's
Great American think-off ..again trapping us'ns in
the confines of a dilemma.

The Griper said...

those are resolutions, tweety. a resolution is nothing but what you resolve to accomplish. it doesn't need to be a new endeavor.

The Griper said...

he grins, then bursts out laughin' as he sees the link from BB.

have to say that the question sure will be a dilemma for many.

grandpa's comment was "that is the winner is 'yes' the essay will be from one who believes in being politically correct and that truth is relative rather than being absolute."

The Griper said...

to me it was an oxymoron. if it is wrong to do it, it isn't the right thing to do. its like thew question "is it ever right to do the wrong thing?"
it depends upon the definition of is, as the good President Clinton says.

The Griper said...

got a feeling that the person who thought up the question was thinking of the war in Iraq.

BB-Idaho said...

In that context, it was 'wrong' of me to bring it up...but it seemed like the 'right' thing to do. :)

The Griper said...

nah, BB it wasn't wrong. on this blog you are a relative. that gives you the right, therefore it can't be wrong. it is the results that make you right not the reasons behind the act. lol

or is it i say you are right therefore what i says goes on this blog? lol

Throwing Stones said...

My New years resolution is to see Israel beat the crap out of Hamas! Boo Freaken Hoo for Hamas, and the Palestinians,and the rest of these Arabs!!! Lets remember 9-11 and these people dancing in the streets!

Gayle said...

I agree that the question is an oxymoron, Griper. I haven't given it a lot of thought yet, but right now I can't think of a way it could be right to do the wrong thing. It is a total contradiction of terms.

Back to your post.

I have no children living at home any more, but I remember them asking me - when I told them I would try to do something - "Do you promise?" Unless I knew without a doubt I could keep it, my answer was "No. I can only promise to try." That way I never had to break a promise to them. Promises mean something to me, but I think you already know that. We should be able to do a business deal with a handshake but sadly that time seems to be gone forever.

Great post. Causes thinking, as your posts always do. :)

The Griper said...

mmmm, then we have the concept of "necessary evils." wouldn't this be a case of doing something that is wrong yet considering it right?

Gayle said...

Dang, Griper! There you go again, complicating the issue! ;)

On a personal scale, my "necessary evils" are small ones. If a friend is wearing a new outfit that she looks terrible in, but it has a color that looks good, if she asks me what I think of her new outfit, should I tell her it's terrible? She's already bought it and worn it and can't take it back. So I'll tell her, "It's a beautiful color on you", which is the truth, but also a lie by omission, because I haven't told her the entire thing wasn't meant for her body type. Horizontal stripes on an overweight person, for instance.

On a worldly scale, is killing ever right? Is it good for the Israelis to be fighting and killing members of Hamas, and sometimes unavoidably civilians? The bible tells us killing is wrong. However, if they don't retaliate they sit there helpless and let Hamas kill them, so what other option is there?

It gets complicated, Griper. I'm going to go try to clear my head now. :)

The Griper said...

mmm i had a real situation like the one you mentioned. a female friend was over at my house and trying on different outfits. there was one she tried on and asked her daughter what she thought. her daughter gave her a positive response of that it looked good on her as you'd expect. then she turned to me and asked. i told her that the outfit made her look pregnant, which it did and her daughter agreed.

now, do you think the girl appreciated my honesty or not? should i have echoed her daughter's response?

Gayle said...

No, you should have told her the truth if she had the option of returning the merchandise. If she didn't, then what's the point of hurting her feelings? Goodness, I hope she wasn't pregnant! LOL!

Gayle said...

Uh, on another note, why are women trying on clothes at your house? That might be an interesting story! ;)

BB-Idaho said...

Perhaps the question need be rephrased...is it better to tell a little white lie....or a big black truth? Which is why some of us can never be WalMart greeters;
"Welcome ladies, the large sizes are over that way." We seem to be born that way. What 4 year old has never observed to a strange adult, "You have a real big nose" or (a personal favorite) after observing a hearing aide in a senior's ear, "Why do you have a toy stuck in your ear?" Takes many years to learn to become a diplomat. :)

The Griper said...

she was actually a co-worker with a roommate i had, gayle. but she was over to the house enough times we got to be friends. and yes , i have had female roommates. and they weeren't sleeping in my bed,,,,dang it. lol

BB,
people are always accusing me of always being black or white on issues. then they say that there are gray areas too. is there any such thing as a gray lie or a gray truth?

Gayle said...

Perhaps if more people were like you are, Griper, there would be a lot more honesty in politics! What if suddenly no one on earth could tell a lie? I wonder what would happen? It's something I know we will never find out, but it would really change a lot of things, wouldn't it?

The Griper said...

if no one could lie, we'd have no need of governments.

BB-Idaho said...

"So, what is it that we can use to declare wars can be declared as a righteous act?" Quite often, G-d.
In fact, both sides make the claim.
For sure in the Thirty Year War and the 100 year French/English thing, as well as the Crusades. And we find both yanks and rebs claiming G-d on their side! Then, to unify ourselves we (as you note above) denigrate the enemy with names. Almost invariably, there are real factors, economic, self-defense, territorial. Knowing the suffering involved, we many times put off war until forced into it, such as Pearl Harbor, or the recent Israeli response to rocket attacks on their civilians. In that respect, the US,IMO, has a pretty good track record, except perhaps the Spanish-American War and the Mexican War, which were not all that 'noble'. The school of thought which seeks to find and cure 'root cause' of hostility and avoid military conflict seems logical, but naive, considering our human natures.

BB-Idaho said...

Uh, say Griper..I commented in the wrong post..did the right thing for the wrong reasons?
(note to self..don't be so dumb)

The Griper said...

ahhh i have made that mistake enough times too, especially in those blogs where comments are in a different place. keep forgetting that some are at the top.

""So, what is it that we can use to declare wars can be declared as a righteous act?" Quite often, G-d."

ok, but can a nation use that as a reasoning without the recognition of his existence? and what of countries advocating atheism. or better yet a country getting away from the recognition by advocating secularism?

BB-Idaho said...

It is true that those entities or nations that are atheistic, such as the USSR cannot and do not claim
a diety on their side. They typically resort to nationalism, another popular mechanism we use, usually as patriotism. I'm hard pressed to think of a war where nationalism was not a factor on both sides. Nationalism/Patriotism
are good and powerful concepts which bind us as a common people.
We often tend to forget it works
identically with our enemies :)
Perhaps ardor precludes empathy?

The Griper said...

or back to that old drive of self survival or survival of species. basically meaning survival of our own kind and nationalism fits in there too?

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