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Admittedly, it seems old school, but there is something to be said for keeping one’s word at nearly all costs. Indeed, technology has us running in all directions, and so we fire back responses via text or email and indicate to colleagues or friends that we will have “no problem getting some task done right away!!!” We may even use exclamation points, too!

In the meantime, we have lost something—a simplicity perhaps in how we conduct our affairs. “I said what to whom and when and how,” I ask myself as I thumb through my phone trying to remember to whom I promised what manner of task or assignment. The value of one’s word—whether we are talking about work or daily life—is just so critical. It says a lot about who we are as people. It speaks to honor and not just a belief system, but our ability to follow through on things when all else in society seems to be working against us. It is okay to promise something and apologize afterward if we could not deliver, because everyone is busy. Hey, we did our best, right?

I do not think it is right, and I must admit I have been guilty of not delivering on things, because I have trouble saying no. I love to say, “Yes,” but what am I doing if I cannot follow through on my promise? Whether we are talking to our kids, a boss or employee, our words say something about ourselves. Words can hurt, heal, mend or build bridges. In effect, words matter—and so the gap between what we say and consequently what we do is a great indicator as to who we are as people.