According to the dictionary, Commitment is: 1. "the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc." similar words: devotion, allegiance, or 2. "an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action." similar words: responsibility, duty.
Most people these days shy away from the word, commitment, perhaps because the second choice has taken center stage. That being, commitment is now seen more as an "obligation that restricts freedom of action." Responsibility and duty seems to be antiquated and outdated words.
When and how did commitment become less about a quality of dedication, and more about restricting one's freedom? As in every situation, it is all about personal interpretation. So, who needs commitment? Imagine if you will, what the world would look like if everyone felt commitment limited their freedom. Perhaps one week your boss decides to take a vacation and forgets to write paychecks before he or she leaves? Or, the mail carrier or trash collector choose to take a two week vacation without arranging someone else to carry out their duties? What if the local grocery store forgets to order items to restock their shelves or teachers decide to take personal days without obtaining subs? I could go on about such personal choices people are free to make without feeling obligated, or feel a sense of dedication and devotion to the customers or clients they serve.
My vet said something very wise several months back. He leaned back on the counter behind him, crossed his arms and said, "You know what they say about common sense these days?" to which I responded, "What's that?" and he replied, "It ain't so common anymore."
What an absolutely true statement! It seems to me, common sense would say, if my commitment is to my personal freedom, what I feel is important, than I'm more interested in what I want than whether it interferes with your personal freedom. It's the separateness over togetherness. It's me over you. Whatever happened to having each others back, or the statement, "united we stand?"
Common sense requires we "lean back on the counter" and ask ourselves, "what is best for all concerned in this situation?" Common sense would say, "a solution that meets the needs of those involved." To do that we need a sense of commitment to whatever endeavor we begin. IF we have to readjust our routine to complete something we agreed to participate in or get someone to cover a task. so be it. Chances are the readjustment will help someone else out as well, or at the very least, they have you to contact when they need to readjust their schedule for another commitment.
Commitment is an honorable quality that builds trust and shows respect for whomever or whatever organization or event you felt the need to participate. The bottom line is, YOU will be the one that benefits the most because you can trust yourself to keep your word as will those with whom you participate. And if you felt the need to commit, more than like it came from your wise heart, so you know there's something really important for you to learn and share with others. If the time comes that commitment no longer works, have the courage to speak to whomever you made the commitment and rearrange or withdraw your commitment. Take responsibility life is moving you in another direction. So, "Who needs commitment?" I'll let you answer that one.
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!