These are undeniably life-defining times.  Everyone is waiting and hoping for things to get better. We await an election, watch the stock market, wait for the economy to turn, wait for callbacks, offers, counteroffers, business proposals. We long to hear the words “YES!” or “You’ve got the job!”  or “You can keep your job.”  or “Let’s do business!”

We find ourselves in dilemmas that make us uncomfortable, that haven’t happened before and, that frankly don’t happen very often in life. In many cases, we’re in the predicament of looking for or making a commitment and waiting to see if it will be reciprocated.  It’s a precarious and vulnerable feeling to commit and wait, especially if you’re young, or out of work,  and when the decision is life-altering.  All commitments require a choice whereby one party must “be accepted’ and receive in return the mutual, often heartfelt participation and involvement born of a secure, committed relationship.

Martina Navratilova had the right idea when she said, “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved: the pig is committed.”

Similarly, Peter Drucker said “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”  With job offers, counteroffers, layoffs, terminations, business outsourcing, so many people and businesses are on hold looking for,  evaluating and reconsidering commitments.

Former Coach Lou Holtz believes that ‘If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on.”  His comment brings to mind those impacted by the recession and the issue of commitments at all levels to the unemployed. People like you and me are living committed lives one day and within mere moments forced into immediate chaos.  They are precariously vulnerable in a serious way, understandably hesitant, unsure of who will accept them, help them, and reciprocate their trust. Some of their dilemmas involve choices that literally determine whether they can feed their families or keep their homes.

Sometimes in life we are asked to make blind commitments. The results of those commitments can be just as life-changing as the commitment to college, a marriage or a job. Commitments may be made to people we will never know and bring specific results we may never see.  Commitment can be quite fragile. It has the power to make or break, leave joy or sorrow, anguish and despair, hope and promise.

It’s that pledge and show of commitment in return that is critical for hope. It is the ingredient that begins a relationship, the reach of a helping hand, the touch of a heart, the lifeline of humanity. “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” (Kenneth Blanchard).  Never, ever underestimate the clout of commitment and where you can bestow it. You may find yourself in need and on the receiving end at moment’s notice.

Our future is full of promise and joy. What we need most for its achievement is commitment. “Carry on any enterprise as if all future success depended on it.” (Cardinal  De Richelieu). If you have the fortitude and tenacity Robert Moorehead describes below, any goal or dream is possible.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate… the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in a maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or slow up.”

Quotes to Ponder

There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos. – Jim Hightower

He who walks in the middle of the road gets hit from both sides. – George Schultz

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~

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