Monthly Archives: December 2017

I Make No Promises

[Tl;Dr: Making promises is self-violence. Why do that?]

These days, I make no promises. I just do my best – within the vicissitudes of being just another human being, with my more – and less – productive days.

I used to make promises (a.k.a. commitments) – and always felt something was not quite right. Nonviolence has provided me a lens through which to see the issue more clearly.

When we issue a promise, we are implicitly putting ourselves under an obligation (to deliver on that promise). When we ask others for a promise or commitment, we are asking them to put themselves under an obligation.

Any way you look at it, obligation is one of the roots* of violence (and self-violence). I suggest this is, at a minimum, not the kind of example we might wish to set for ourselves, or others.

*The key roots of violence include: Fear, Obligation, Guilt and Shame; “F.O.G.S.”. Promises tend to play in all these areas.

Might I invite you to join me in resolving to make #NoPromises?

– Bob

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