1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Promise: An assurance given by one person
to another person that the former will or
will not perform a specified act.
Dan Duff 09

If you are a regular reader of this blathering that I go on about from time to time know, I like westerns. I like to watch them even to the point when I find a bad one I will watch it and try to get some meaning from it. The one thing that threads its way through all of the westerns Iíve seen is there are good guys and there are bad guys. It doesnít take too many frames to run off the reel to see just who is who and who you are for and against.

There is usually a situation where there is a damsel in distress and the good guy has to help save the ranch or keep the stage coach line from going under, but somewhere along the trail there are promises made. With the good guy it is always and I mean always, promises made, promises kept. There are always overwhelming odds against the good guy and just about everyone except the camera man is against him, but somehow, no matter how bad the odds get stacked against him, he keeps his promise.

The bad guy in all of the western stories always makes promises, but never keeps any of them. He uses the word just as another tool in his box of skullduggery to obtain his objectives and to take over and hold power. He sees nothing wrong with his methods because as far as he is concerned, it is for the greater good that he does his evil deeds and broken promises and in the end the people will see that he just had to do what he did to make the world a better place to live.

At the end of the movie the bad guy is caught and justice is meted out and the good guy has kept his promises. The whole town is grateful and the good guy rides off into the sunset knowing that the world is a better place for his deeds and sacrifices. The bad guy is shunned and shamed and in most cases either dispatched to jail or to the after life where is never heard from again.

I was just wondering why those principals are not followed today? I wonder why, when people make promises like the bad guys in the movies, they never keep their promises. Promises becomes just another arrow in their quiver of words that will get them to their goals and objectives. Not only are they not kept, but for some reason they are elevated to heroís status by their deeds. They become men of stature and somehow never brought to task for their broken promises and words.

I can remember people in my hometown that would make promises that they never kept. I also remember people crossing the street so they would not meet up with them. They were shunned for their actions and people would turn their backs on them. Why donít we do that today? When a person make promises that they have no intention of keeping, why are they not shunned and shamed as was done back in the day.

We have presidents of corporations, presidents of banking institutions and yea even those who would aspire to the highest political offices who make promises that they have no intention of keeping. I say and we should all should say, once these people break those promises and once we see they are not people of their word, shun them and give them no place or venue to ever speak in public again. It would only take a couple of times and a couple of venues and the rest of them would get the message.

In todayís world there is no expectation for such a thing as promises made, promises kept. In our world today it is just another word. A word that sounds good, but has no real meaning or value. If a promise is made, it is made with the intention of the "greater good" but it does not have anything to do with it being kept. A simple concept that worked for centuries, can again work for us today and in the future, promises made, promises kept.