I usually keep my word. If I find that I am not able to because of extraordinary circumstances, I make it a point to tell the person involved so that he or she will not feel let down. For example if I were to tell a friend that I will come to her house at 9 a.m. but cannot do so, I will make sure I let her know before that time so that she will not have to wait for me in vain.
However, I know from experience that many people do not keep their word. I have been kept waiting a number of times by friends who said they will meet me at certain time but come later or do not show up at all. What is worse is that they do not even apologize or say why they did not keep their word. These people then become less of a friend and more of just an acquaintance. I do not feel sorry for it. I am definitely better off without having to endure further disappointments.
It seems to me that some people simply say things without meaning what they say. They just utter words out of convenience. There is a man who replies “no problem” to any request made to him. He works as an electrician-cum-plumber. When we require his services we would ring him up and invariably his answer will be “no problem”. He always promises to come the next day but almost always he fails to show up. So we ring again and he will again say “no problem” but again he will fail to keep his words. Perhaps after a week or so he will appear to render his services. Sometimes we can wait, but more often now we get someone else to do the job. This someone else also does not usually keep his words but at least he does not say “no problem”.
Then there is an uncle of mine who is just as bad. Once he borrowed my father’s crash-helmet promising to return it the same evening. He never did return the helmet. When asked he denied that he ever borrowed the helmet. My father decided to let the matter rest as it was an old helmet not worth arguing over. It goes to show how untrustworthy a man can become. His words mean nothing. It has no value at all.
I always go by the saying “say what you mean, and mean what you say”. It seems many people can not be bothered about saying what they mean and meaning what they say. They just say anything they like and do something else. It is impossible to trust people like this. They will let you down.
It is best that we keep away from such people. However this is almost impossible to do because the whole world is filled with them. It seems to me there are more people who do not keep their words than people who do. Perhaps this is the result of living in the modern world where people are more concerned about making money than keeping their words. Money can kept in the bank, words cannot. Money can be used to buy things, words can’t.
As for me, I would rather keep my words. At least I also keep my integrity and honesty. If I do not have these two so important things, then whatever I do in the world will only make things worse, for I will have cheated and lied. I will become just another untrustworthy person that I dislike. I cannot allow myself to dislike myself.