What is the difference between commitment and dogged stupidity? I made a commitment this week, and without going into the gritty details, let me just say that it involves being up at six a.m. for the next forty days. Although I am a person who has probably only seen a sunrise a dozen times (I much prefer moonrise or sunset as I'm usually wide awake at those hours) I realize that many people rise before dawn on a regular basis. I am not one of them.
This would be no big deal, but due to a "miscommunication" with my college-aged son I spent a good part of my day in a parking lot and didn't get any of the things accomplished I'd hoped to (including this blog). So now I will be up most of the night working. Do I still have to get up at 6 a.m.?
There's little that irritates me more than people who back out of a promise (especially a promise to one's self) for no good reason (the flu is a good reason; lack of sleep is not unless one is operating a car, an airplane, or performing surgery). In fact, I would much rather have a person tell me "I can't commit to that" than have them commit and then not show up.
Perhaps, you're thinking, one too many guys stood me up when I was a teenager? Actually, that rarely happened. But I was raised with a model of commitment before me 24/7: My parents were married for fifty years and in that time my mother always went to church on Sundays, and my father never missed a day of work (unless he had the flu).
Commitment is a word I also associate with devotion. I like the idea of being devoted to something--to an art, to work, to family, to caring for an old, ailing aunt, to just being there when you have promised to be there. In a world in which everything can change in an instant, the fact that commitment, devotion, steadfastness, loyalty, still exist is, in my opinion, rather miraculous.
So yes! I will be getting up at six a.m. Care to join me?