blogging gobbledygook and such

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.

Comments on: "The Measure Of Your Commitment" (8)

  1. ah – committment – the “c” word for us men (or so soap operas and sitcom television would have you believe).

    To me, people’s seriousness and levels of commitment are best demonstrated when no one is looking. I.e., if people are going to stand up and praise/applaud your commitment – then I can easily discern this was the catalyst for actions that demonstrated said committment. If, however, you toil away in solitude and receive no thanks/praise – then I can judge that you were truly committed to that which you claimed.

    That being said, their are practical times when and when not to honor committments. I’ll use an over-stated phrase from the ranks of American football. The coach of a struggling offense will often claim that the team will now be “committed to the running game” as it is both a back-to-basics approach and theoretically gives the defense a chance to catch their breath while the offense goes out and runs it down the enemeis throats. But, certain situations clearly call for more imaginative play-calling – such as a 3rd and long from deep in your own territory. Staying committed to the running game in such a situation is often foolhard.

    Arggghh…just realized I should probably end the football rant. By now your eyes are glazed over and you’re saying “what the heck is your point, Kev?”

    I’m committed to getting to that, I promise. πŸ™‚

    sulz: haha, you’re predictably right about me not getting the football analogy! i totally get your first example though, and agree. as for not honouring commitments, i think you may want to consider that when what you’re getting out of it is not what you are expecting – perhaps the other party is not fulfilling its promise, or circumstances have changed… whatever it is, cut your losses and move on. that is, after trying to fix the situation.

  2. Lmao I get the football analogy and it is spot on. Does eating chocolate count as a commitment? If so I am committed. (Thats not to to agree with some people thoughts that if they were capable of committing me they would have me placed in a straight jacket and locked away.)

    But I also expect a strong level of commitment from family and friends. That does not mean I usually get it because it rarely happens. But I expect it anyway. When I don’t I usually just shrug it off, accepting the fact that not everyone has the same loyalty expectation I hold.

    sulz: haha, at least somebody got kevin! πŸ˜€ meh, i can eat more chocolate than you, therefore i am more committed. :mrgreen:

    like you, sometimes i shrug it off when i don’t get what i expect. sometimes i can’t, and when that happens too many times, after expressing how i feel about that, i just give up. there’s only so much trying you can do, isn’t it?

  3. I agree, there is only so much trying you can do. You either have to distance yourself or learn to accept you are in an uneven commitment. It happens. But as mad as I may get at some people, especially family, when it comes time for them to need me, I will be there as long as it does not make me cross a line I would not normally crossover given the situation.

    sulz: i’m doing the former because i can’t do the latter. πŸ™‚ but i will be there if the person needs me, because deep down i’d always be hoping things could be the way they used to be even though i know it’s not possible anymore. i guess i’d rather be used in that sense than let that possibility go by.

  4. I am more likely to do be there for distant family than friends. But if asked it is hard to say no to either – unless the rift was a severe split. I tend to demand as much loyalty from myself towards others as I expect from others. So if the request is reasonable I try and be there, otherwise it creates self-guilt and self-questioning of my personal character.

    I tend to demand as much loyalty from myself towards others as I expect from others.

    sulz: that is exactly how i feel too. and i would be there for anyone if i can and want to.

  5. Hey this is for the next post: All of us feel this way when leaving college… M sure u will feel better in a few days!!

    sulz: hey, thanks for leaving a comment. yeah, i know i will feel better soon, that’s why i closed the comments… just needed to get through it myself, you know? πŸ™‚ but thanks for commenting, it’s good to know i’m not alone in feeling like this!

  6. 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.

    Interesting topic, sulz. I agree with you in principle but as someone who uses words every day, I know the power of words and I believe a commitment of words can be just as heartfelt as one delivered through actions. Take a verbal contract, for example. Just doing something unasked for would show commitment, but doesn’t my being somewhere, doing something when I actually said I would mean more? It means that I value the relationship and that I am an honest, reliable person. It’s a mixture of actions and words and I think that’s the most meaningful commitment you can make. Like wedding vows. When two people pledge to love and honour each other for the rest of their lives, isn’t that the strongest commitment of all?

    Having said that, I do think people make commitments too lightly; that’s why the divorce rate is so high. And a large part of that is because we don’t prioritise what’s important to us. We want everything at once and when we can’t have that, we offer excuses to have what we desire rather than making time for what is really important to us. How many times does somebody say they can’t see a movie because they’re doing something else? They might have plans but what that really means is they’ve prioritised spending time some other way instead of with you; no matter whether it is a legitimate excuse or not, being rebuffed hurts and makes you wonder if you value the relationship more than they do.

    What I wonder about, though, is what about the commitments we make unknowingly? Are we as guilty of not prioritising a commitment if it’s one that was given to us rather than one we made for ourselves? When we’re born we’re committed to our country, our nationality; what about when we disagree with the direction our country is going? Does that mean we’ve given up on our commitment or is trying to bring about change the ultimate commitment we can make? The same for religion. What if you’re a devout Catholic but find yourself on the other side of the abortion or euthanasia debate? Does believing something other than what you’re taught mean you are less committed to your faith or more committed to your self?

    I guess my point is that sometimes there are reasons people don’t make or keep commitments, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are any less committed or less of a priority to them… it’s not quite as black and white as that. Someone who is sick might want to be with a friend but can’t because of illness; cancelling means they’re reneging on their commitment but doesn’t mean that they value their friend or the relationship any less. In that case their actions don’t speak louder than their intent; their words mean much more.

    Commitment’s kind of become this Big Thing and that’s why it scares men, but it doesn’t have to… it’s really about treating people respectfully – thinking of someone else before yourself, and if you can do that, that’s the most committed you can ever be. Great post! πŸ™‚

    sulz: great comment, cjwriter! πŸ˜‰ especially about wedding vows; do you think we have a chance? :mrgreen: (i think the height difference would be a huge problem, haha!)

    no matter whether it is a legitimate excuse or not, being rebuffed hurts and makes you wonder if you value the relationship more than they do.

    you really hit the nail right on the head with this! i guess i’m quite insecure by nurture and it reassures me when a friend shows his or her commitment through the way s/he behaves around me. i think actions are more ‘concrete’ than words, especially as you’ve pointed out that people take commitments very lightly these days, just like words.

    as for commitments given to us, i think what shows we are committed is how we choose to approach the situation… you may not like being a citizen of your country for political reasons or whatnot, but if you are truly committed then you would actually do something about the situation, rather than just criticise and judge the decision makers of the country. i think in that sense, the action-taker is relatively more committed than the armchair critic, because s/he is actually doing something to make change possible, for the good of the country. armchair critics may not be totally disloyal or uncommitted, but in that sense it’s easier to offer judgement because they are merely observations… less work than doing something about the situation. as for believing something other than what you are taught, that’s tricky… i don’t know if believing differently shows you are less committed, yet at the same time it does feel like it says something about your commitment, doesn’t it?

  7. This was a good one on commitments πŸ™‚

    sulz: thank you, glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

  8. I agree to a certain extent but I still feel that some people commit for their own personal gain, in order to shroad their other qualities that might not appeal to the person they committing to. Just my opinion, thanks

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