Honor Commitments | Fundamental #11

Be reliable and deliver on all your commitments, no matter how small. If a commitment is in jeopardy, notify others immediately and set a new commitment.

My dad was usually a quiet, stoic figure.

He did love to laugh, play golf with his buddies, and bet on an occasional football game, but mostly he loved to hang out with his family.

The older he got, the clearer it was for all of us that family was his number one core value.

His willingness to do a favor for me or any of my three siblings was unbound. The “instructional” parenting stopped long ago, giving way to the unconditional loving dad who would take any opportunity to save us from whatever perilous mess we’d gotten our selves into.

As I “matured” I did my best to resist dipping into that well, but sometimes his presence shined through as the best option available.

So, that one time he said “No”, I found myself a bit distraught, entitled and confused.

“No?” I replied back.

“No. Sorry buddy, but I have a commitment.”

That word, “commitment” rang loudly and sounded a bit like my new nemesis, but ultimately it was not.

As noisily as it rang the unwelcome bell of, “It’s time to grow up and be accountable for your own life”, I understood the honor he was placing on his word.

He had given his word to something else, and that was now a commitment he would follow through on.

There was no sermon in what he said, but the lesson was clear. There was something to be gained in life by honoring commitments, especially if it was inconvenient or unpleasant to do so.

If he were still with us, I’m sure he would have no recollection of that conversation.

It likely falls in that category of parent-to-child-hard-wiring twinklings that go unnoticed by both parties in the moment. It did stick though, as did many things about my dad.

Thanks to him for teaching me about this and so much more.



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