Do our actions back up our words? Yesterday in church, the sermon centered around another of my favorite parables, the son who said 'No' to his father's bidding, but later went and did it, and the other son who said 'Yes', but didn't do it. Fr. Dave reminded us that our actions need to back up our words; that our word used to be valuable; otherwise others will see us as untrustworthy.
I'm a loyal person, and identify with the first son. A lot of times (growing up), I wouldn't want to do things, and either had to be nagged to death or I'd do my chores 'when I wanted to'. As I entered college and moved out on my own, I earned the respect of my boss at the country club, because I was willing to do 'the dirty work'. In other words, I cleaned up the kitchen wait station every night. And this was thanks to an older waitress who befriended me; she made the job go faster by singing, and naturally, I joined in. And soon it was a nightly habit.
My friends know if I say I'll do something, I'll do my darnedest to get it done/be there for them/whatever.
This was tested in 1998, when we had moved to a new community. Several moms weren't happy with a certain situation, so I, being the 'let's see what we can do to resolve this' person, offered my ideas, and everyone jumped on board with one of them. So I set to work; gathered the necessary info, and set the plan in motion. To my surprise, every single mom in that group balked at taking the next step. After many phone calls, I gave up. I wasn't about to start something w/o support, but I did send a letter to a teacher, voicing my concern. She took the letter to the principal, who in turn took it to the superintendent, who implemented part of my idea, and the moms first grumbled about it, but then congratulated me. WTH? I couldn't fathom why they were upset for being excluded. They would rather gripe about the issue than fix it?
And the issue arose again the next year, and another new mom in the community took the same action I had, with similar results. If the moms had banded together in the first place, this wouldn't have taken two or more years (although by the 4th year, the original complaint had been resolved!), and we'd all been happy. But the DUMB thing was, that group excluded me from then on, 'because we didn't fit in'. One mom later told me my actions 'scared' them. WTH? Just because I'd rather ACT then bitch, whine, and moan about the problem? Come ON!
I will admit, since getting married twenty-plus years ago, that my word has been broken in the financial area. When a payment is due, and since we're on a limited budget, I'm the one who deals with the phone calls or the payment arrangements. My spouse has driven me crazy because I'd promise to pay X amount to ABC, but on payday, he would write checks for XYZ. Or chew me out for making those arrangements or writing the checks myself. So after a while, I stopped making promises. I was tired of getting the phone calls 'You promised you'd pay us...' and me saying, 'I know, but the spouse refused to cooperate.'
I'm the same with my online persona. If I make a comittment to an interview/chat/guest blog, I put it on my yahoo calendar; my family calendar; and my own personal one. Yes, there have been an instance here or there where something's come up and I've been unable to attend, or totally forgotten about, but those are few and far between.
So what's YOUR word worth these days? Mine's slipped to silver status, from a bill collector's POV, ha ha....