“You have my word”
You don’t hear this statement much anymore, do you? A person’s word doesn’t go as far as it used to. Once upon a time, in a land far far away a man’s word used to mean something. In fact, I can remember my grandpa saying that to people all of the time. He raised his family in a small southern Indiana town where kids were carefree and everyone knew everyone. I can vividly remember walking down the street one day and stopping with him to have a conversation with a man he knew and at the end of the conversation he said…”you have my word”.
At the time, I couldn’t help but wonder what that meant, I was 9.
Here I am, soon to be 40, and I can’t help but wonder still what that statement means.
Yesterday I watched an old episode of 24. I’m not a huge 24 fan, but there was nothing else to watch at 3am. In this episode, Jack Bauer said those exact same words to another man and then almost lost his life staying true to his word. It got me thinking…there aren’t many people left in this world that would say those words and then go to their death staying true to those words. I like to think I would and I like to think that I surround myself with people that would too.
Unfortunately that’s not always the case.
I think those words come down to trust. When someone gives you their word and then doesn’t follow through it’s hard to rebuild that trust that has been broken. I know it’s not always easy to keep ones word. In fact, there are times when even I have the best of intentions and things come up or don’t go as planned and I in turn have to break my promise, but like Jack Bauer, I do everything in my power to keep my word.
I can even be understanding and forgiving up to a point because I know I am not perfect. But when you rip my heart out from my chest and stomp all over it…it’s usually pretty difficult for me to trust. And very rarely will I ever again go to bat for someone like that. And I hate this quality about me. When it comes to matters of the heart, I am very protective of my own. If I weren’t, who else would be? I wish I were quicker to forgive…but in my book, forgiveness takes time…you have my word on that.