I know I’m not the only one who feels that being trustworthy is invaluable.
I believe that’s not only true for business.
A while ago I watched The Hobbit with my husband.
For days after I felt as though I were in a bubble- completely consumed by this beautiful, fantastical, world…
Try as I might I couldn’t understand what had captivated me so about this film.
And then one day I got it- The Hobbit told of a world in which Honour meant something. In fact in “The Hobbit World” honour was everything.
Those that pledged their allegiance- even if the quest wasn’t theirs, gave everything they had- even if it meant their very lives, for the sake of keeping their Word.
The adventure was filled with characters willing to die for this incredible quality- OH! What girl wouldn’t want to live among such men!
Today we live in a broken world- with broken lives and shattered dreams because honour means far less than it should.
I may sound quite over the top but I believe many underestimate the value of keeping one’s word.
Here’s something I’ll never forget…
I was in my teens.
I’d promised to take the bus with a friend after school.
On that day it was compulsory we cleared our lockers.
I had tons of books- remember those massive high school text books? Yeah I had a few of those along with all my other workbooks, odds and ends.
After school it was a “no-brainer” for me- I was going to catch the bus!
My friend asked what I was doing- I tried to explain about my locker clearing situation- she stormed off while I took the bus.
I felt justified in taking the bus- but something in my heart sank deep. I had no idea why I felt so rubbish. I had good reason to go back on my Word!
As soon as I got home I dumped my books and rushed to find my friend so we could walk the rest of the way home together.
I’d seen how upset she’d been that I’d let her down. I knew I was in real trouble with her.
I did find my friend. Furious. And walking home- alone.
She would hardly look at me.
I tried again to explain my book situation- she stopped walking and said: “Had this been the olden days your family would’ve disowned you for dishonouring your word!”
I don’t know if there ever was a time when keeping one’s word was that big of a deal but I felt ashamed.
Never had I been confronted with the weight of keeping my word until then.
I knew that had the tables been turned my friend would’ve kept her word to me- no matter what- because for her honour was a BIG thing.
That sinking feeling I’d felt earlier was my own awareness that regardless of my reason, I had broken a promise- and that was not OK!
Since then I’ve learned that sometimes the reason we don’t keep our promises is because it’s not always convenient to so; which is why I believe that delivering on what we say we’ll do means much.
There is something to be said about being a Keeper of our Word.
When we speak people should believe us; If for some reason we cannot keep our end of the bargain- by goodness I think we have to make the effort to ensure we find a way to make good on our word.
This is not a sermon- as I write I’m reminding myself of one of the most crucial lessons I’ve ever learned.
There are people who’ve earned my respect in business, and in life, just by keeping seemingly unimportant agreements. Then there are some who I once respected greatly and no longer do because they didn’t deliver on promises they’d made.
Thinking back on school and that day, I’ll never forget my friend’s disappointment and the look on her face that said: “I counted on you to not let me walk alone.”
The promises we make may not seem like a big deal to us…
Catching the bus that day didn’t seem like a big deal- I felt my reason to do so was solid- but I’ll never know what letting my friend down meant to her.
If it were super easy to keep our Word we’d all do it- but it’s not always so- which is why we need to consciously do everything we know how to keep the Worth of our Word valuable.
I believe this is the number one way to gain trust. With that trust comes many wonderful things.
I’m not saying all this because I’ve arrived in this area. But I do know this to be something that deeply matters to people.
Keeping our Word. I believe it’s one of the most crucial keys to success in any area of our lives.
Hannah Viviers is the Creator and Host of the Dream BIG TV Show