Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ― Dr. Seuss
The world is seeking committed leaders. It needs those who care more about community and the individuals in it. The need for this has not changed through the ages; however, how society and the persons that compose it define commitment appears to have altered.
Perhaps this is due in part to the Western world’s focus on the individual and individual gratification. Many young people have grown up without learning or experiencing that there is a consequence for our decisions and actions. Failure to teach at home contributes to a collapse in the education system with students being rewarded for plagiarism. The potential ramification is that individuals could receive degrees in disciplines where they lack knowledge and expertise potentially resulting in the loss of life. Politicians continue to fail to administer public funds in an honourable manner, squandering funds that could provide better services to a larger populace. Yet generally we remain complacent and choose to remain in our “bubbles” because it isn’t really impacting us now. The cost for our failure to take note and speak up is growing. It is important that we learn to step up, exercise the rights of our democracy and voice our opinions.
As corporate global growth continues, the opportunity to demonstrate the commitment to North American policy will be challenged as the norms for business deals differs throughout the world. Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, surveyed 3,000 respondents about barriers to corruption obtaining differing results in different regions. Wal-Mart’s current investigation into internal corruption has slowed its international growth while raising questions about applying American legislation to American companies in global locations.
Over time, I’ve learned that there is a cost to commitment. Many causes inspire me; however, few ignite a passion that stirs me to action and keep me going when things becoming overwhelming or tedious. (I really don’t enjoy tedious; however, at times it is what is needed.) Time is a limited resource allowing only so much to be accomplished during waking hours, so choose wisely. Prior to giving your word (committing) to something, it is prudent to evaluate if sufficient resources are available to complete the obligations that one is making. The establishing of parameters can provide a sense of security that increases freedom and creativity. At the same time it is important to remain flexible and not confine ourselves in boxes that are too tight.
Sometimes commitment opens a path for growth. Rollo May said, “Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt.” We become vulnerable when we choose to connect and commit. This requires courage as the illusion of control is surrendered when we invite others to enter into our lives. Deeper, richer relationships are the rewards as we reach out with transparency.
Commitment brings with it duty and responsibility not only to others but to ourselves. When others fail in that obligation, does it provide us with an excuse to do the same? If we are no longer inspired by the cause we’ve committed to, do we just walk away even if others are counting on us? Or are we individuals who impact the world with character, who are dedicated to our dreams and devoted to making a difference?
Zig Ziglar said “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”
What does commitment look like to you? Will you follow through?