Friday, February 13, 2004
Today I was asked what difference it makes if someone gives their word or not. If they intend to do something troublesome or bad, is that really going to stop them? And that being the case, why create bad feelings and trouble by asking for their word to begin with?
I had to think about that one because the obvious answer is that it's true that some people who intend trouble will cause it, and their word means nothing. But...
But I trust people who are willing to give me their word that they are not going to purposely do something. Maybe it's a badly outmoded notion that you can trust someone at their word, but I still do until I'm proved otherwise. And, again, it's likely out of date to think that people should make their word count for something in the world and do their best to keep it.
That's the way I view things. If I ask someone for their word it is because I still trust them enough to believe in it. It's a statement that I know there have been problems, but I'm willing to believe that those past problems can be overlooked, if not resolved, as long as I know that the person (or people in this case) understand that certain behavior isn't going to be allowed. They understand that and give me their word, and all is well.
It seemed odd to me that someone would ask why I would want someone's word. It made me really think about what I expect from people. And you know... I'm still thinking about it.