November 13, 2012

Transformations, Nov. 13

KJN Dean Wilkerson
The Express-Star

—       What are you committed to doing and do you always keep your commitments?  Most anyone would answer “Yes, of course” to the latter even though they don’t often actually do.  Being committed has become something of a rarity nowadays.  Have you noticed the decline of people living up to their commitments /obligations over the last several years?  It’s sad to see, but this has become one of the many downfalls that are currently destroying our Nation.

      Wikipedia defines commitment as “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.  It is also known as a pledge or an undertaking.  A commitment is never supposed to be broken, that means it was never a commitment rather was just a pretention and lying.”  Why do so many people find keeping their commitments so challenging?  I feel that a possible answer may be found in what I term as the “Me Generation”.  This group of individuals seems to live by the philosophy that if it’s not important to “me” or doesn’t have something to offer “me”; I feel no obligation to having to do it or follow through.

      I was taught, as a child, to always keep your commitments.  Mom and Dad drilled this into my psyche and always reminded my two sisters and me that if you promise someone that you will do something, you better do it.  Over my lifetime, I have tried very hard to live up to this standard.  Yes, I too, have slipped and didn’t follow through entirely on occasion.  But overall, I can honestly say that I have given it my best effort to always do what I say I will do.  By always striving to be a living example of this principle, I feel honored to have earned the trust and respect of many people.

      The old saying “You better finish what you start” is, also, an example of keeping your commitments.  I see it a lot in my profession, a child starts one of my martial arts classes and even though they seem to be enjoying what they are learning, when the shiny new allure wears off or it becomes a bit more challenging than they are willing to put out, they quit and are off to something new.  It constantly amazes me that parents just let their children do this. This happens all the time, not just at my studio, but in many activities that young people are involved in.  Parents, I feel, should use these episodes as an opportunity to teach the importance of follow through and how to keep your commitments instead of allowing them to quit and move on to the next new thing.

       I know a young man in his mid twenties that has started and quit at least a half a dozen jobs in the last few years.  He gives many a reason why he seeks out other employment, but the excuses can be broken down to either he is bored and tired of doing the job or he feels that the company has done him wrong.  Now these could be seen as legitimate reasons, but 5 or 6 times in just a few of years of working, I think not.  This individual definitely has issues with keeping his commitments and feels no obligation or need to stick around, do his job and then wait and see where it might lead in the future.  Maybe it is just me, but I find this line of thinking very immature and a major character flaw.  

      We must teach the next generation the importance of keeping one’s commitments.  If we don’t, who will?  This is not something that they will learn on their own and just do, we must take strides in using every conceivable opportunity to reinforce this behavior with our youth.  Will they like it? No, of course not, but they will thank you for it later.  I am happy that my parents raised me the way they did, it truly prepared me to be not only become a good citizen, but a good leader as well.  Living up to our commitments is a principle that we should all hold dear to our hearts.  It exemplifies respect and honor, something that our Country needs a whole lot more of these days.  To Your Success!