Honoring Commitments

Back in high school, I attended Evergreen Boys State, a week-long conference for young men sponsored by the American Legion. A fabulous keynote speaker said this during this conference:

“I will do what I say I will do when I say I will do it.”
— C.G. "Coke" Roberts, Green River Community College

This phrase has stuck with me ever since. It gives me purpose in my life. It inspires me be responsible to myself and others. I feel an increased sense of honor when I live by this maxim. While I slip sometimes, this statement drives my life, both as a professional and as an adult in society. Holding yourself accountable to what you say makes you an adult.

When I make an appointment with a doctor, an auto mechanic, a massage therapist, or some other business, I'm making a commitment to that business to show up at that given time to get help. And, by cracky, I'm going to show up! Unfortunately, many of us make appointments, and don't show up. Many of us don't realize skipping an appointment costs a professional money for billable time. When we don't show up, they lose money because that time slot could be filled with a paying customer who actually shows up. This brings us to society's current trend where businesses send us reminders by both voicemail and text message to our phones so we don't forget or skip our appointment. And asking us to reply to the text message. "Studies have shown" that people who text a reply are more likely to honor their commitment to their appointment. Welcome to the nagging portion of cultural history.

One more distraction added to our day. One more task added to our day's list of things to accomplish; reply to an automated service telling them we'll make our appointment. Makes me feel like I'm being treated as an irresponsible teenager again.

The more we integrate doing what we say we will do in our daily walk, the more we will improve society around us. The more we honor the commitments we make to others, the more we will be valued. And businesses won't have to find additional ways to remind us to keep our commitments. Do what we say we will do when we say we will do it.