I ask the question above because, really, sometimes our words mean nothing. They are so meaningless (‘worthless’ suddenly sounds too strong, but hey, that’s really it!) that people roll their eyes and snicker as soon as we are done making (yet another) promise. So, can we be trusted to keep our word, or to even try to?
I am reminded of something that happened a while ago, which caused me to pause and question why I thought I shouldn't be trusted to keep my word. I had stopped to get fuel, and while the nozzle was in, reached into my bag for my purse, and lo…nada! I had left it at home. Now I have to tell the attendant I had no money on me. Yeah, right! I felt so embarrassed. Well, I summoned up the courage to tell him I forgot my purse at home and that I have to go get it, and the only thing I can leave to guarantee my return is my phone (and it was not even a nice blackberry then o). He looked at me for a minute, considered and agreed but said that he would be responsible for paying if I did not return…and added that there was no need to leave my phone.
Well, I was shocked that he let me go just like that, even though half-heartedly, I mean, he may well not be expecting me to return! I drove away in astonishment. But then it occurred to me that he really ought to trust me! Why shouldn’t he? I should expect to be trusted when I speak; I should exude ‘genuineness’. That really ought to be my DNA , but alas!
This all came back to me this morning, when I heard someone recounting her experience where, upon getting on a bus she realized that she had no money to pay the fare. If you live in Lagos, you will agree that that is an experience you want to live without because by the time the bus conductor is done, you would feel like you have been thorn into shreds by a rabid dog. And you will pay that fare before you get off the bus.
Have you ever had any such experience? How did you get out of it? Remember how we always joked about washing plates at a restaurant, in case we are unable to foot the bill? Has that ever happened to anyone??
So can you say that your word is worth something, anything? I have a friend who, whenever he tells me he would call, I dont even let it register. He never does! No one is perfect, of course but we could just try. Let it be said that we tried. At least.
Be free oh.