Friday, March 5, 2010

How do you pave your path?

Glen_Helen_pathLife is a journey where we pave the path for those who follow. The quality of that pavement is set by the commitments we do and don’t keep. This is not an original idea as we all are aware.

In his post “What you didn’t do doesn’t matter” Chris Guillebeau at Art of Nonconformity wrote about how good intentions aren’t really worth very much. I hadn’t responded to his post earlier because I’ve been wondering if there’s a difference in the outcomes between thinking but not acting and promising but not following through.

It’s true that both lapses fail to make a positive difference. However, the promise or commitment for which one fails to follow through with has far greater negative consequences in terms of the immediate relationship.

If you tell someone you’ll call or do something for them; do you? If you offer to help someone what’s your motivation; that you’re doing a good deed or that the recipient feels helped and supported in reaching their objectives? How often do we say what’s expedient instead of saying what we mean and/or meaning what we say?

Trust is a valuable but slippery currency of human interaction. Succeeding at talking about being helpful but teaching would-be recipients to not accept your offers because of your low level of trustworthiness may achieve your goal of not being inconvenienced but it comes at a high cost.


Melissa Donovan said...

I agree with the basic statement that good intentions aren't very meaningful if they're not backed up with action. However, they're still better than bad intentions!

Deb said...

I hope it goes without saying that I am against bad intentions; period.