Your Word is Your Bond
"I’ve always believed that your word is your bond.
Looking someone in the eye, telling them you are going to do something and shaking their hand is as good as a contract. Sure, I know that doesn’t hold up in court and in today’s world those handshakes are happening via e-mail and other electronic mediums it is a whole other ball of wax.
But, even though it is different, it is still important. Perhaps even more so because the Internet never forgets.
Unfortunately, I was reminded of this yesterday when a company that I took several hours out of a very busy schedule at an event to help with a marketing program of theirs, backed out of what they promised me.
Not only did they leverage my name, reputation and valuable time for their benefit, but in the end it was a complete one sided relationship where they got plenty out of it and all I was left with was frustration and a complete distrust of everyone involved with them and their company.
I do a lot of things for free. I enjoy helping people. I like taking part in fun initiatives when they present themselves.
My time is extremely valuable. Everyone should protect their time as one of their most valuable assets since it is the one thing you can never get more of.
But, because of this incident I’m certainly going to be more careful about who and what I agree to work with. Being taken advantage of never feels good and none of us should have to stand for it.
Make sure that you stand by your word. Yes, we all make mistakes and when they happen appologize and move forward to fix the situation. Don’t appologize and you can be sure that you’ll be labeled as someone not to work with and trust me when I say that word gets around very quickly when this happens.
Maybe it is small town of me, but if you can’t stand behind your word and be a good human in the process, than I’ve got no desire to help you out in any way.
I only want to work with good people, doing great things and who value my time.
Life is too short to be an asshat. Be a good person. I promise it’ll be more fun."
I thought I'd share this wonderful article.
Great article! Good advice.
Jonathan you are very unique, I agree.
@ Steph and Jonathan - I still get my feelings hurt when people don't keep their word, or show up on time for a special event because I'm always early and always try to help. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I do, it's as if they're insinuating that my time and expectations are not as valuable as theirs. I think I'm old fashioned and set my expectations too high, but honestly, how hard is it to show up on time when someone invites you over to eat, or sets a lunch date with you? I've taken to the habit of going ahead and eating without them rather than waiting if there's a group of us for dinner or lunch, I don't say anything to them anymore unless they make a smarmy comment, it's a waste of breath.
I wish I could say this only happens with family, you can half expect them to be rude to you, but unfortunately business acquaintances and friends act this way, they're all 'special snowflakes' dontcha know and don't even get me started on the freaking cell phone at the table!
All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.
Danny Thomas, I respectfully disagree. I believe we are born with no meaning or purpose. Looking at life through the microscope and telescope of time and space, life began very simply and from natural events and over time changed and evolved into all that we see around us today. There is no design, no plan, no purpose. Life gives life to life, generation after generation.
Some of us can trace our family line back to the 1500s and even knowing names and dates and a little history reveals no meaning or purpose to me. As I look at my own family tree I see people coming from Europe in the 1600 because they were persecuted in England and wanted freedom of religion. Once here they did atrocious things to people who did not share their beliefs, including cutting off noses and ears of those who did not conform. Another branch were very devout Christians in Salem, Mass., and they accused, were part of the trials, hung and squashed witches and confiscated their property. Another line wrote beautifully about god and devotion to him even as he packed his ships full of Africans and brought them to the Americas to be sold into slavery. He made a mighty fortune and our family often tells of this great man and his great home. Well, on inspection, he was a slaver of the worst kind. I was looking for noble ancestors and found scoundrels dressed in religious garb.
What was their purpose in life? Where did they discover their meaning? Did great wealth and great social standing mean more to them than humanity's flourishing?
Obviously my family hate it when I recite the legal and historical records and fail to follow the family line of being descendent from great men of the Revolution and a signer of the document. Or of the role our ancestors played in the Revolution and Civil War. The family stories just don't match the documentation.
That said, I could stand on the propaganda about my family tree; or I could stand on the documentation that defined how they functioned in those early days; or I could stand on the realization that I descended from people who were able and willing to do whatever it took to get what they wanted; or I can create my own meaning and purpose, remember the past, imagine a preferred future, and move in that direction.
Steph, on that point I strongly agree and should have acknowledged it. Thanks for the clarity.
I agree with you Joan.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson