Tuesday, January 5, 2010


A promise, they say, is a word or words offered another person which contains a pledge to do something at an appointed time regardless. Promise! I remember an uncle say that when someone promises something to him – correspondingly he pours out to that person a bag of expectations, anticipation, trust, hope, and zeal. A promise he pointed out is a guarantee, an assurance, or a pledge of truth and stands on one’s integrity and honor. Well, don’t we actually lean heavily on such things in our day-to-day lives? Isn’t it part of a two-way human communication traffic built on a desire to keep things moving along? Thus we promise loosely, tightly, falsely, or truthfully just to get things done or undone. Don’t we?

Promising to come back on Tuesday to return the book you borrowed as you know how important it is to its owner to have it back -- and doing it, reflects your concern and thoughtful consideration towards your friend - a sentiment coming from the heart. But on the other hand, your brain may sometimes tell you differently, that …

--you can do it another day as you’re very busy (just when are you ever not busy?!)

--and that it won’t be missed anyway (are you sure of that every time you delay or put it off?)

--or say to yourself that your friend would understand it if you delay (stretching it again for the __nth time?).

Let’s go over a life scenario or two, real ones (names changed).

Billy, we’ll go to the carnival on Saturday night…..and ride on your favorite carousel for as long as you want.” ------- a beaming father tells his 5-yr-old kid whose eyes sparkled with glee over the prospect of getting on his favorite carnival ride. Come the promised day, the father stayed at the office till 11pm on overtime work. He forgot about his promise. Do you think that it crossed his mind at all while working at his desk that his child was waiting back home expectant and trusting over a promised ride? Can you imagine the fragile thoughts and feelings of a little child who must have hoped so hard for that promised thrill only to have it crushed just like that?

Darling, I’ll be away for only a year to work there and save up for our wedding. When I return, you’ll be my Mrs. Jose Rivas.”….… He sweetly promised as he gently wiped away the tears from his sweetheart’s eyes. A year and several months after, a relative who flew in from that same country told her that he was living with a girl with whom he has a son. Distraught and stunned she cried her heart out locked in her own room. The following morning they saw her lifeless body on the bedroom floor with a locket clasped in her cold hand. Inscribed inside were the words ‘Love Forever’, signed Jose.

So tragic how empty or careless promises can shatter a heart or snuff out precious life. A dear close friend once told me this, referring to her suitor --- “I don’t really care what he says, he can promise or not promise the entire world to me; but what he DOES or WON’T DO --- will tell me all I need to know ‘bout him.”

That brings to mind another of my dear uncle’s wise sayings -----



  1. Beautiful essay as ever.I would only add a small point.If the promise is made without the honest intention of performing, it is a despicable act.Some small promises we are not able to carry out not because of unwillingness but due to greater priorities or unexpected contingencies in workplace or elsewhere where one has to evaluate the relative importance.But generally what we promise we must do.It would be wise to be guarded in promising when one is not sure of performing.

  2. Hello my friend. It has been awhile since we have talked.
    I am glad that you stoped by and sent me a message. I hope you have been well and in good spirits. Your family Christmas picture is very nice. You have a beautiful family. I am wishing you a very good New Year.

  3. I made a mental countdown after reading this, the many promises i broke and the ones i fulfilled. The truth lies in the middle. But now in my mellower years, i am more careful because the ones i promised only to "snuff it out" really hurt some. I guess it's called integrity Ellen and i try to shoot for it.Thank you for this concise thoughts on "promises".

  4. Oh these we are all familiar with -- "..Some small promises we are not able to carry out not because of unwillingness but due to greater priorities or unexpected contingencies.." Therefore we should know and be honestly aware of our greater priorities.. and as for the 'unexpected contingencies', that can be explained without taint to our honest intent.

    Glad to see you, KP.
    Hope the day's bringing you smiles.
    God bless.

  5. Shirley! This is lovely hearing from you again. Yeah 'been awhile. Just life keeping me pretty busy with the family and stuff, especially with a wedding coming up soon. Lols! :-)

    So delighted over your visit. Let's keep in touch. Blessings to you and your family. A Happy and Blessed year ahead for you and your loved ones!

    Love and prayers,

  6. DF, yup me too -- 'mellowed, careful', and much better at keeping promises. Lols! And I like this very much -- 'I guess it's called integrity Ellen and i try to shoot for it.' May it be everybody's aim.

    Love it each time you come with your precious insights and wisdom, DF. Tons of blessings to you and your loved ones. Happy and Blessed year ahead!

  7. So true, even a false promise to a two year old is not fair at all..a promise is for keeps and it should be kept with dignity,promises define a human being..a negative person is full of false promises..thanks for posting such a relevant issue.
    Have a great week ahead :)

  8. Happy to see you, Sana! :-) Have been to your blog awhile ago; I liked your new post very much... good thoughts, good writing.

    Thanks for this lovely visit and for your message. Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed year ahead. God bless!

  9. Hi Elen,
    Agreed. And I would equate your promise made and not kept with a 'yes' told when you wanted to tell a 'no' and then either doing the thing half-heartedly, at your great expense or not doing it at all. It's better to say no. But often it becomes tough to say no and we say yes just to beg out of the situation. Probably that father in your story promised the ride to stop his kid crying.

  10. So true Ellen. As they say, promises are meant to be broken. Why promise if you can't live up to them? right?

  11. Hi Indra,

    Right you are! - "Isn’t it part of a two-way human communication traffic built on a desire to keep things moving along? Thus we promise loosely, tightly, falsely, or truthfully just to get things done or undone. Don’t we?".

    Thanks for the visit, Indra.
    Hope your day's great packed with joy and blessings. :-)

  12. "Why promise if you can't live up to them? right?". You hit it right on target, Destiny. :-) Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for taking time to come by and for your message. See you around!

  13. Hello Ellen,

    All this while i had gone to my parents place, say a weeks time. Had a great time with them.

    I have read all the blogs you put up in my absence. Both had a very clear message to convey.

    I wish serenedipity and tranquility in the Twenty Ten Year!

    The recent pic of you and your family is lovely. Four pretty dolls, i must say!

  14. 'Serendipity and tranquility' --- good fortune and calm... two words which we all have need for in our mad maddening lives. Let's hope that this year we will get to see more of it. :-)

    How wonderful to be with your parents on a vacation like that. You deserve such lovely time with them. Great!

    Thank you for dropping by with your lovely New year's Wish and your warm message. Thank you too for liking the blogs and our family picture. :-) Pardon this mother's pride, but they sure are my precious dolls. :-)

    Take care, Pearl. May God bless you and your dear ones.


:-) Here's where I warmly welcome you and where you leave your footprints behind with fond memories attached to it of wonderful chats and friendships. Thank you for your comments. Or send your comments to ellen622@gmail.com. Will be seeing you in your blog too. God bless you!