What was Mark Twain thinking when he made the quote, "Better A broken promise than none at all"? Did he know that the world is full of some people who have no problems not keeping their promises? I'm talking about situations where someone has specifically agreed to do something and then totally flakes out at the last-minute without any sort of excuse, explanation or note from their mother or doctor explaining their absence. Some people seem to think that it is OK not to keep a promise and that not keeping a promise is "no biggie." News flash - it is a "biggie." It's a huge deal to the other person or people who were counting on you, especially if that person was a child!
I don't want anyone to read into my ranting here. I had a great childhood and there is no person who is the specific target of my rant...this time! I am just an equal opportunity Greek ranter and today I chose to rant about people who make promises only to break them later.
We all know people who have had someone break a promise and not live up to what they said they would do. It sucks, doesn't it? You are blindsided when it happens. You think good of all mankind and do not foresee the broken promises coming. I know for me, since I'm Greek I like to talk and when a person breaks a big promise with me it leaves me speechless without anything to say. Me speechless? Well you then know it was a big deal to me. I am sure a broken promise is a big deal to anyone who is the unfortunate recipient of it!
So what does a person have if they do not have the word or the honor of another person? I say they have nothing. No one will trust them, no one will respect them and most certainly no one will want to be associated with them. When I make a promise to someone -- it's as good as being written in stone!! I know I will try my darndest to live up to any promise I make. That's just the way I was raised.
Likewise, if you make a promise to me and then you find out you're not going to be able to live up to that promise - then come tell me. I'm a big girl, I've got my big Greek girl underpants on. I can handle it, really I can. In life stuff happens to everyone and I understand that. But don't try to pretend you never made a promise or worse yet, totally ignore me or the person you made a promise to. Human noggins are like an elephants noggin...only slightly larger and less wrinkly and they also never really forget. They might forgive, but some people never forget.
Just to break a promise for no good reason is uncalled for. Especially in situations where someone was really depending on others and now there is no other way for them to get something done. I guess some people do not have a conscience or a sense of responsibility anymore.
Here are a couple of good quotes on promises:
- Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once. ~Norman Vincent Peale
- A promise made is a debt unpaid. ~Robert Service
- We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot. ~Abraham Lincoln
- A promise is a comfort for a fool. ~Proverb
- Promises may fit the friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies. ~Benjamin Franklin
I am not saying all people break promises. But for the ones who do, shame on you. You promise breakers sure let down the rest of humanity.