As with any new year, there are often resolutions abounding. A new year's resolution is generally a decision to do something differently this time around, or often a promise that we make to better ourselves. Fortunately, if we break it, the consequences generally only fall upon ourselves.
The consequences, however, tend to be more serious when we fail to keep our word to someone else. Why does promise keeping matter? Firstly, because it's the right thing to do. Secondly, the damage that breaking a promise can cause to a relationship, whether personal or professional, can be very difficult and painful to repair. Some promises are implicit, as in an intimate personal relationship, e.g. a parent's "promise" to love and care for a child; while others are explicit, e.g. a contractual agreement. Both are important to fulfill. On an even larger scale, broken promises made to a collective, such as the all too familiar "campaign promises", erode our trust in our leaders and public authorities.
It's a bit past the new year, but I propose that this year be a year of keeping promises to ourselves and others around us. Here's to a more considerate, kind, honorable year ahead.
“Civilization rests on a set of promises; if the promises are broken too often, the civilization dies, no matter how rich it may be, or how mechanically clever. Hope and faith depend on the promises; if hope and faith go, everything goes.”--Herbert Agar