Wednesday, December 01, 2004

"Promise Me"

What makes a promise, exactly? A written contract between two parties? A verbal one? How loosely do you define it? Not too loosely, I hope, because then people will start calling your names behind your back with appendages like "psycho." I think this comes somewhat from an innate knowledge we have that promises are sacred and not to be entered into lightly. Decent, normal human beings recognize this. They recognize that we need promises to bind us together, to create a foundation of trust and understanding.

What happens, though, is that we focus so much on being honorable and keeping our promises that we overemphasize the promise-making process, and in that formalization, we forget about the promises we make in our words and actions.

These unspoken promises are binding nonetheless. At least for the promisee. The promiser can claim ignorance and get off fairly easy, and the promisee will let it happen, because, hey, nothing was ever promised.

Then why does it hurt to have a promise broken where no verbal contract was ever made? Why is there still a sting of betrayal that you swallow so people won't call you crazy and say that you demand too much?

Leading people on is never, EVER a good thing, and trying to weasel out of it by saying that you never made any promises, well, go back and look at what you said. Words are powerful things. Don't waste them.

This is for you, Kristin. Don't ever think that you don't have a right to be hurt.


Blogger the duke of "ish" said...

promises... are powerful things. i know... because i broke one on sunday. i've actually been in the process of breaking it for a couple weeks now. and even though both involved parties ultimately agreed that it was a good thing... still, i feel bad for breaking the promise. promises represent a certainty, a consistency, a reliability... and you know what those ideas mean to me.

on a related note, i PRAY that i haven't led you on. of course i adore you... you know that. but my heart isn't mine to give... it hasn't been for a long time, as much as at times, i've tried to convince myself that it was. still, let me know if there is anythign i can do on your behalf, ok?

11:18 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

You said it so well, Liz (as always!). We all know how badly words can hurt and yet we do it to other people, too. I wish there was an answer. I wish there were guarantees in life. Even marriage involves risk and that has always bugged me. Is there anything we can depend on when we need it? Hope is the only thing I can think of.

1:40 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Notice that the post was dedicated to Kristin first of all, Art.

And yeah, I've noticed about you. I do talk to you occasionally, read your blog, check out your away messages... I'm not stupid. I do always try to base myself in reality whenever possible, and even if it hurts. I'm not going to go into an in-depth discussion on here about anything like that, though, it can be saved for an IM conversation. But just give me one thing... don't make this some kind of "I'm feeling guilty, so let me be nice to make up for that guilty feeling thing." I think way more of you than that.

1:50 PM  
Blogger REDguy said...

I've lost faith in myself such that I dare not make many promises. I'm still working on the ones I made w/ God when I was eight, let alone the countless number of drawings (pure torture) I'm casually promising people.
I can't stand another loss of faith... As it is, no one takes me seriously except a few fictional characters I've conjured in my head for just such a purpose. Wha? Don't make that face at me... I know I'm crazy. At the very least I'm not in denial about it...

1:57 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Hope. Yeah. Don't ever, EVER profane that word by using it badly or making it to be something it's not around me. Hope and loyalty are the two things I do well, besides, apparently, voice my thoughts on my blog. They're what keep me sane when my whimsy and my joy seem out of reach and my memories too heavy to hold. Hope is sacred to me, but I think a lot of people don't understand what it is. I don't think it should hurt. And it shouldn't make you afraid. But maybe I'm more naïve than everyone around me.

10:53 PM  
Blogger the duke of "ish" said...

loyalty, i think we see eye to eye on dear elizabeth. hope... i'll refrain from commenting on. most notably, because right now, it's paying huge dividnends to me, and i don't want to speak well of something because of current biases that i normally try to excise from my life. i will say though... nothing is greater than a wondrous hope fulfilled.

6:38 AM  
Blogger REDguy said...

I think that there is hope in Christ, which, if asserted astutely and faithfully, proves to be everlasting, and does not hurt. I think that Neal A. Maxwell pointed out that there are false forms of hope, the likes of which prove ruinous.

1:13 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Oh, how I could go on and on about that. Thanks for your comment, Taylor. And you too, Art, I'm glad that you're finding that hope.

I wrote a paper on faith, hope, and despair last year for my Book of Mormon class. My professor, being the brilliant man that he is, helped me to see some things I had never realized before. Basically, it got into the definitions of those three words, and the separation of faith and hope. The despair was the most interesting part, but I'll not write about it here. Hope, though, is an expectation. Just that. We've perverted the meaning in its desecularization, I think. Because mortals are just that... mortal. We make mistakes and break promises and flounder, flounder, flounder. Christ does none of that, and so it is possible to put true and pure hope in Him after having faith. Take that, and broaden it to the whole world, and that is how I see hope.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Mr. Dart said...

My name is Douglas. I'm a 36-year old high school teacher from Minnesota on sabbatical in Slovakia teaching in a Slovakian high school. I found your blog by hitting the "next blog" button from mine. Much of what you have written took be back to my childhood because I grew up in Salt Lake. That's enough background.

The idea of faith and hope intrigues me, because together they form trust. To trust Christ, I must have not only faith that He is Lord, but also the hope that He will do what He says He will do. I've met too many people who have faith in Christ, but no hope that He loves the way He says He loves. Understandably, they don't trust Him.

Faith is accepting the presence of the promise. Hope is accepting the promise of the Presence.

4:25 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Thank you for that, Douglas. What is teaching Slovakian like? That's amazing.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Mr. Dart said...

It's about the same as in America. Teens are the same all over, hurting but not knowing why. One great thing about being a literature teacher is that this problem shows up all the time in literature. Usually in a character, it's spiritual (if the writer's any good) because that's how it is in reality. So I use a model for character analysis that gets deep into the subtext of the words to the spirit of the character.

If we can figure out what is going on in a character's spirit, then the thoughts, feelings and especially the actions of the character make much more sense.

12:14 PM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Ah, literature, my love. I'm glad someone else understands the depth in the written character and the personal catharsis that can be found with understanding the spiritual conflict. Then again, not every author writes good characters.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous no foo, I'm not god. said...

promisez are thoze thyngz that lead you to aktionz; ppl to understand this iz to loze hope...let me just add...and faith iz that whych rememberz...your mouthz are faith ppl...keep. Them; KLOZED! x=0) -God

8:51 AM  
Anonymous that thyng u do said...

do u wanna end up like me?!? lol..just look, and you shall receive, however leave the moodiness at home kuz itz reazun your intending to HERE

8:52 AM  

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