As We Move Forward: Honoring Commitments

ChildCommitments are an important part of any relationship. They can go to the most basic human involvements. Each of us is here because at least one person decided to honor the developing relationship between unborn child and mother to see that relationship through to birth. Even here, relationships can become complex very quickly.

Honoring this basic commitment may involve the mother and the father agreeing to accept, and raise the child. Other possibilities for the relationship with the newborn child may involve one or more of the biological parents. The primary relationship with the child might involve one or more other individuals, with or without any biological connection to the child. Commitment to the relationship may be temporary or long term and may be based on a variety of motivating factors.

This look at circumstances surrounding each of our first relationships shows how incredibly complex our relationships can be from the very beginning. From here it is easy to see how involved making and honoring commitments can be from the very beginning.

I dare to suggest that relationships and the making and honoring of commitments only becomes more complicated from this point on. Children can quickly develop preferences among the people in their lives. Choices of who a child will associate with, likes and dislikes are apparent at an early age. Many early relationships are based largely on the like/dislike factors in a relationship. Making and honoring commitments in these early relationships often comes down to who we like and who we do not.

As our understanding of the world around us grows, our basis for making relationships shifts to shared ideas and shared beliefs. We make and honor commitments more and more often based on things we agree on. As these relationships and the commitments that grow from them become more and more based on shared ideas and beliefs, the commitments tend to be of a deeper, more long lasting nature.

This is not always a straight line path. As we grow up, some of us enter relationships and make commitments where we do not share ideas nor beliefs. It may be excitement or a sense of adventure that draws us toward relationships that are outside what has been the norm for us. Honoring commitments in these new relationships may cause conflict with some of our previous relationships.

FriendsAs we move forward, it might be useful to think about relationships we are a part of and the commitments that are part of those relationships. How do we feel about the commitments in these relationships and how they are honored? We live in a world where commitment can easily be called into questioned or even held up to ridicule. It is not uncommon to have long-held beliefs not just challenged, but criticized or ridiculed, often with no real basis other than the fact that someone says we are wrong.

As we move forward, we might find it helpful to have as clear an understanding as possible of our relationships and the commitments that are part of them. In this way, we can be sure that the relationships we are part of and the commitments that are part of them make the most sense. In this way, we can seek to be consistent in how we live our lives and our relationships, and how we honor our commitments.

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