Lovelyloey wrote about this issue, and it got me thinking. Can you measure commitment?
Commitment, like all other things abstract, is subjective and therefore almost impossible to measure. However, I do think there are ways to tell the level of a person’s commitment.
In one way, it boils down to the whole no time or no priority question. If it doesn’t have priority, you won’t have time for it, won’t make time for it. And from there it shows the measure of your commitment, to an extent.
In another way, the measure of a commitment can be seen through a person’s actions; action speaks louder than words. That’s why, people who cannot offer their commitment offer their words as excuses, and those who can and will commit let their actions speak for itself.
To me, there are two kinds of commitments, in the general sense. One kind is the kind where you are merely fulfilling obligations, promises. You enter it knowing full well what is your role and what are your responsibilities, and you will see that you fulfill those tasks set upon you. Whether you try to look at those obligations positively or try to execute it the most fun way possible depends on your approach.
The other kind of commitment is the one you enter into willingly, voluntarily, totally. You enter it with hopes and determination to make your commitment enjoyable and satisfying. Of course there will be rough patches, but those are just phases and you know that can be overcome, because in this commitment there isn’t just will, there’s also passion. And even though there might be better offers coming along, you will stay true to your commitment because you know that even though the grass seems greener on the other side, what you have committed to is still incomparable, despite whatever shortcomings or flaws it has.
And in these two sorts of commitment, how committed you are is clearly seen through your actions, not just words. There is a danger of having the second type of commitment morph into the first type of commitment, when passion is out of the picture. In that case, you will have to reevaluate what you want and what you are getting out of that commitment.
That’s why I’m a Universalist when it comes to relationships with people I am very close to. I want equal commitment from my friendships; how much I invest, I expect to receive back about the same. It does not mean that if I gave you a piece of chocolate, I want you to give me back a piece of chocolate. What it means is that if I gave you a piece of chocolate, I would like you to show that you appreciate my thoughtfulness. (Okay, I think this makes me sound like I go out of my way to do something because I want that recognition – let me make that clear that it’s not. I would like appreciation because it encourages me and assures me that you feel about the same way as I do.) Maybe you show your appreciation by saying a heartfelt thank you. Maybe you show your appreciation by giving me a sweet in return. Maybe you show your appreciation by giving me a chocolate when you have one. Whatever it is, your gesture shows to an extent your commitment towards the relationship. And I do expect that because again, I believe commitment can be seen through your actions, and not just mere words.
Because words, you can say a whole mouthful without meaning them. As for actions, you can do something unintentionally, but never as much as you can with words.