What you say should be as true as what you do. Promises shouldn’t be given frequently or lightly. If so, trust issues. Promises should be as rare as they are sacred.
In other words, you have to fuck up pretty bad to have to make a promise to do better. That promise has to be more serious than the offense it intends to correct. If that promise can’t be kept, even once, you already know that it is definitely not serious for the keeper than the offense.
Do not make a promise you know you can’t keep. A promise that’s propped up by lies and deceit is worse than just a broken promise. A promise can be broken by mistake. But covering it up is always intentional.
It’s not just some popular retro hip-hop slang. It’s a promise. Your word is your bond. You aren’t just speaking of your actions. You are speaking of your character, your esteem, and your accountability.
For my generation of urban warriors, there’s a bushido-inspired sense of pride and honor. Honor, even among thieves, makes you legit. Compromised promises are strikes against your word. The fewer strikes you have, the more you keep score. Of yours, and of others. If you don’t even bother to keep score, I’m willing to bet, people aren’t relying on you as much as they used to, if at all.
Integrity means something to those who have it. Be integral. Mean something to people who mean something. Fuck everyone else. Be judgy. Take a look at the people closest to you, right now. Do they do what they say they’re going to do, on a regular basis? Or are you used to hearing excuses? And then look in the mirror. Do you do what you say you’re going to do, on a regular basis? Or are you used to giving excuses? Reflect on your answers. And no matter where you are in all this, raise the bar. For yourself, and for those around you. Be integral. Matter.
Say those words like an oath – “Word is bond.” Build your character one bond at a time.