I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “I give you my word”, be it in a movie or someone saying it to you.
This phrase plus a handshake was the strongest binding agreement that you could imagine between two gentlemen.
Unfortunately this no longer constitutes as proper agreement terms for many reasons.
Why Do Men Not Keep Their Word Anymore?
First is because there has been a huge downfall in the quality of men in today’s times.
Sure there are still plenty of great men out there who still keep their word but it has become increasingly hard to tell who those men are.
Second is that the courts seem to have to decide everything for us now because of so many people going back on their words or just flat out trying to scam you out of some money.
This has led to more professional & legal binding arrangements such as your typical agreement typed up, signed and a witness signature as well.
I might be getting ahead of myself here, let me actually break down what this phrase actually means.
What Does I Give You My Word Mean?
A man’s word is something that no one can take from you, only yourself can lose it. You do this by not upholding or staying true to something that you promised someone.
Think of it like the olden days where a Knight would take an oath to do something like protect his king or kingdom.
If the king died while you were fighting to protect him that does not mean you have gone back on your word (oath) because you did everything you could do. However if the kingdom came under attack and you hopped on your horse and took off then this would be an example of you not keeping your word.
In more modern day terms you might give your word to your granddad that you will help him with yard work this weekend.
An example of failing to keep that word would be you just not showing up because you’re not feeling it or some crap like that. You catching the flu or a serious issue coming up like a friend has gotten into a bad wreck are things that can be seen as legitimate reasons for not being able to keep your word.
I’m not showing you these examples to help you find a way to make you not feel bad about keeping your word but more to show you that there is a grey area here.
What Do You Do If You’re Not Able To Keep Your Promise aka Word?
This definitely falls on a per situation basis but I’ll give you an example on how to properly go about it in a certain situation involving paying someone money you owe them.
Let’s say you bought a lawnmower from a neighbor down the road but it was on your word because you didn’t have the money at the time but needed the mower to go ahead and cut your grass, so he went ahead and let you take it with you.
The Agreement: You would pay him the entire payment on the 1st of the month once you got paid.
The Problem: Your car messes up; dog needs an emergency vet trip whatever reason that causes you to not have the money.
What Not To Do: Not call your neighbor and explain the situation. He could be expecting this money for something important such as his power bill.
The Correct Approach To This: Call him let him know the situation to at least keep him informed. Keep his mind at ease so he doesn’t think you just stole from him.
In this situation you could offer to pay him what you have now and the rest later if he is fine with that or work off the money you owe him. If neither of these are acceptable then you would resort to asking family/friends for the money and then pay them back or going as far as pawning some stuff for the time being. Any of these would be an acceptable approach to keeping your word.
What To Do If Someone Does Not Keep Their Word To You?
Not only take a mental note to yourself not to trust said person again but if that person knows any of your friends and family I would reach out to them to give them a heads up just in case they run into that person with a similar situation. Of course the severity of that persons word warrants how far you take this (getting into courts, police, etc..) but for this situation we’ll leave it at just a word of mouth type of thing.
The Importance Of Keeping Your Word
When we are born we all start out from different paths in life. Some rich others not so much, the one thing all men start off with equally is that they all have their word.
It’s not a physical item anyone can take from you but it means more than your weight in gold (yes I actually said that).
Your word is truly what defines you not only as a man but as a person in general.
The one thing I hope you takeaway from this article is that even though a mans word doesn’t seem to hold its overall weight in society that it use to it still follows you for the rest of your life.
Some people call it karma which is fine, call it whatever you’d like but know that eventually not keeping your word will come back to bite you. Maybe not tomorrow, it could be 10 years from now when you’re in a job interview but it’ll always be a major factor in determining what type of man you are and people see that.