Keep Your Word

I have faith in the generation that I belong to and I feel that forty years from now, we will have contributed a lot more to society than what generations before us expect us to. However, one common knock on the Millennial generation is that we are soft, a little lazy so to speak.  While I am a big supporter of all of us who were born in the time period of 1980-2000, I have to agree that this characterization is all too true.

Many young people today give up way too easily. For many of us, we simply don’t value our word as much as we should. In a day and age where instant, non face-to-face communication is readily available, many of us don’t think twice about canceling engagements, calling in sick, or dramatically altering plans. Oh, something happens to come up at the last minute that you want to do instead of honoring the plans you already had with someone? Go ahead and send a quick text to the person you are ditching on, you are covered now.

Not so fast…

Now, now, now, let me point out that this blog post is not written in heat of the moment frustration. I make sure to reflect on topics such as this far in advance. Truth of the matter is, I have not felt the sting of the “Generation Millennial Laziness Bug” for a good amount of time now, so I believe I can have a clear head when writing this…but sometimes that angry passion still kicks in.

We need to start valuing our word a little more. No, we need to start valuing our word a lot more. As I have hit on time and time again, in this crazy world that we live in, there are only so many things that we can control. Thankfully, we can take full ownership of the promises and plans that we make and honor them.  True, we all make plans and commitments with the best of intentions. Then life will sometimes get in the way and hit us with challenges, setbacks, alternatives, and/or more desirable options. It definitely tests the will of a person to either follow through on his/her original word or to succumb to the previously listed factors and retract.

In life it is hard not to be selfish. I mean it is only natural to “do me” (Thanks “Jersey Shore”).  Life is too short to be constrained by promises and commitments, right? Baloney. While it is vitally important to take time for ourselves, we need to first and foremost honor others.

Here is the absolute heart of what I am saying: If you make plans to do something with someone, do it. It does not matter if it is a date that you quickly set up that morning, a concert that you had planned for a couple months, a party that you RSVP’d to, a business meeting that you set up, or a trip that you had organized…follow through on your word.

I totally understand that life throws all of us curve balls and it changes the way we feel and messes with our mind set. But that is the thing, life throws all of us curve balls. I understand that mentally you might have had a tough go or that a better offer might have come along or you might be feeling a little under the weather but SO WHAT? You already made a commitment to another person, how can you use that as an excuse to go back on your word? The generations before us along with many people in our own generation (let me give us some credit) wouldn’t let a more attractive offer, some sickness, or emotional baggage derail what had already been set up ahead of time so why should we?

What I always have the hardest time deciphering is how in the very end, right before we decide to make the call/text/e-mail to the other person that we are scratching the plans, how doesn’t an alert go off in our heads that asks “What about the other person?” At this point I understand that the value of our own word and our own reputation means very little because we are damn close to putting the kibosh on everything, but isn’t there some sort of last ditch effort that our conscious employs on us on behalf of the other person? Don’t we think about what they have invested in the plans? Don’t we realize that we could cost the other person (or people) time, money, and pride? Isn’t this the point where we put someone else before ourselves, no matter how shitty we are feeling?

If you absolutely have to cancel on someone, have some guts and either seek them out and talk to them face-to-face or call them. Don’t be a coward and send a text. Also, give them ample time. The last minute ditch operation is one of the biggest screw jobs you could give to someone. Again, just keep the other person in mind.

I choose good friends. By the luck of the draw, I have an amazing family. I got some of hardest working and loyal co-workers anyone could ask for. I pick classy and selfless girls to date. Because of this, I experience the disappointment I have chronicled in this post on a minimal basis. But the rare times I have experienced it, the negative impact has been so profound that I felt the need to write this post. My high school freshman football coach was always fond of saying “It’s too damn easy to quit.” It really is. Never take the easy way out on life and never take the easy way out on others. Don’t Blink.