What is Your Word Worth? How Do Others Regard You, Really? You might be surprised!

In the final analysis, what else do human beings really have? Our bodies aren’t really ours–we’re just custodians of the flesh and bones we walk around in. But there must be something that is ours, something we’re known for but might not be aware.

Perhaps I should have been a detective instead of an acupuncturist, but I’ve noticed during my years on the planet — all 72 of them — that it’s the rare individual who keeps their word. How many times have we heard, “I’ll call you,” “We’ll get together soon,” “I’ll put in a good word for you,” yet nothing happens. The first one or two times, we might feel hurt because someone didn’t honor their promise, but after that, we don’t believe the person. We know they are not a person of their word. They pay lip service only. We may label them a phony. Chances are we’re not the only ones who’ve been duped by the same person and when we meet a mutual acquaintance and that individual’s name comes up, we hear from the other party, “Oh, don’t believe a word he says,” “She never shows up,” “Forget her. She can’t be counted on.” “I lost trust in him a long time ago.”

Often times in families, we observe a parent, an aunt or uncle, who promised to take us to the movies. They promised us that matinee a dozen times. But they never delivered. And we know as we get older they cannot be trusted. It’s sad. As I get to know patients in my holistic acupuncture practice, sooner or later, the hurts people have harbored for years start to surface. One patient said that a certain family member’s unfulfilled promises cut him like a knife. The man was promised by an older relative when he was young that my patient would be remembered in his will. He alluded to this promise for decade after decade. As life would have it, the man’s wife died. He remarried, moved to Florida and was never heard from again.

How was this man remembered? Not for all the good times they had together, but for someone who did not keep a promise. Certainly life’s circumstances change and when we can’t keep a promise, it’s only fair that we tell the other party so.

This is a dramatic story, but believe it or not, even the little undelivered promises still linger in the consciousness of an adult as unfinished business.

tAll we have is our word which is tantamount to our integrity. People who break promises need to be forgiven–they obviously weren’t aware of how their behavior affected another. But no matter how hard one works at forgiveness, the impression still says. “He is not a person of integrity.”