A fellow traveler–friend, Jorge, once said that when you want to become very good at doing something difficult you have to acknowledge how hard your path will be. You then have to begin putting it into practice as soon as possible before you chicken out. Then preserve your desire to continue improving your skill with discipline. Basically, that is Jorge’s short definition of commitment.

Jorge is a very loyal pal to the people he chooses as friends. Once Jorge locks into a relationship you cannot pry him away from that person. He commits thoroughly. I remember the day he and I vowed ourselves to friendship. Jorge insisted that we shake our hands on our friendship because that is the honorable way to do so. It’s not like a paper contract that can be legally broken by consulting an attorney. Jorge believes that his honor is stronger than paper.

The reminder about my friend’s formal commitment to our friendship today popped into my mind as a random thought this morning when I glanced at the mortgage statement from the bank I had left on my desk after it arrived in the mail yesterday.

The act of formalizing a friendship is something that is never talked about–at least to my knowledge. The only other time such formality has happened in my life was in my early boyhood. My next-door neighbor John and I swore an oath to be blood-brothers. We each pricked a finger with a safety pin, then pressed our fingers together, intermingling the drops of blood while we pledged our friendship.

Of course this happened well before popular society became worried about HIV, Covid, and today’s other horrendous diseases. I wonder if some children still become blood-siblings with one another these days. Some formal statement of comradery is a beautiful way to honor the institution of friendship.

Friendship is a special form of commitment. When we are friends and acquaintances with people who share a passion and dedication around a common goal and purpose, almost anything is possible. When you swear your loyalty through thick and thin, there is strength that magnifies geometrically.

When we understand that carrying out the promises and demands of a commitment is more difficult than creating and preserving it, the agreement is more solid. We can take this basic lesson and apply it to personal commitments one makes to oneself.

A person takes the desire and realization of the difficulty of the commitment then consciously applies the fair amount of diligent effort required to stay on the path. This effort requires a mindset of equanimity and self-knowledge about our self-imposed beliefs and limitations. A commitment requires periodic honest, “soul-searching” in order to reinforce the drive to remain loyal and disciplined.

If the mind is not steady and sober, the commitment will not have been made with a solid foundation. A shaky commitment is easily broken and any loss/benefit will slip into a state of deficit. Then it is easy to throw in the towel and surrender to mundane disappointment. It’s important to understand the consequences of failure before deciding to commit to someone or something. When you fully understand your strengths and weaknesses, you are better able to know whether or not to make commitments.

Solid commitment is an abiding, deep desire that is impervious to whims and distractions. It is the choice to continue to carry on regardless of circumstances. Choose carefully.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 20th century actor, comedian, dancer, singer, vaudevillian, Sammy Davis, Junior. “You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Friendship, Hometown, philosophy, Youth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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