What Does It Take To Really Commit?

The three men who committed to developing the Explorer 1, America's first Earth satellite which was launched January 31, 1958. At left is Dr. William H. Pickering, former director of JPL, which built and operated the satellite. Dr. James A. van Allen, center, of the State University of Iowa, designed and built the instrument on Explorer that discovered the radiation belts which circle the Earth. At right is Dr. Wernher von Braun, leader of the Army's Redstone Arsenal team which built the first stage Redstone rocket that launched Explorer 1. The three men held a model of Explorer 1 over their heads the night the satellite--the U.S.'s first--went into orbit, four months after Sputnik.ID: GPN-2000-000478 Other ID: P8485 Credit: NASA Headquarters - GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

The three men who committed to developing the Explorer 1, America’s first Earth satellite which was launched January 31, 1958. At left is Dr. William H. Pickering, former director of JPL, which built and operated the satellite. Dr. James A. van Allen, center, of the State University of Iowa, designed and built the instrument on Explorer that discovered the radiation belts which circle the Earth. At right is Dr. Wernher von Braun, leader of the Army’s Redstone Arsenal team which built the first stage Redstone rocket that launched Explorer 1. The three men held a model of Explorer 1 over their heads the night the satellite–the U.S.’s first–went into orbit, four months after Sputnik.ID: GPN-2000-000478 Other ID: P8485 Credit: NASA Headquarters – GReatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)

What do you do when you really commit to something? Do you give only “lip service” when you commit? Do you “talk the talk, but not ‘walk the walk’?” What does making a commitment really mean? Does making a commitment really matter?

The previous paragraph offers many questions regarding commitment and your point of view about it. I think we all have a deep need to be involved with others — indeed, a need to be involved in the world. The proof of this fundamental human need is constantly demonstrated by history. Consider how we humans have populated the earth, or how we explore/investigate every aspect of life. Consider how we continually invent ways to be connected, from beating a drum to beating the virtual keyboard on our iPhones. Consider how we went from posting pictures on cave walls to now, posting pictures on the internet. The point is we, as a human race, want to be involved in our world.

We also show our need to be involved by our desire for social and/or close relationships. We want “what we do,”  to count for something. We want to feel valuable in life. We want to feel connected in a way that we are important to the connection.

So, what do all of these wants and/or needs have to do with commitment? Well, the commitments we make are often the results of wants and needs. In fact, I think we usually commit ourself to something that starts in our mind as a want/need. I know that you might be saying to yourself that you commit to many things that you do not desire or want. Perhaps the desire or want may not seem to you, on the surface, to be the reason, but underneath, your reason is a desire or want. Consider a parent who is committed to taking his children to an amusement park. S/he may take them, not because, “on the surface,” s/he wants to personally, but because s/he thinks that such a family outing would be a desirable thing for the family. Since s/he thinks it is good for the family, then s/he wants and/or needs it.

Commitment is a need or desire that we must enter into a relationship with! When we make a commitment, we should never count on gaining anymore than we are willing to put into it. Actually, we should make a commitment without hoping to gain anything. Commitments are actions of giving and not receiving. What we gain from commitments is equal to what we are willing to put into them.

Is this a sharing commitment?

Is this a sharing commitment?

Deep commitments, like marriage, allow us to discover who we are as individuals. From our deep commitments, we grow to our fullest. It’s our deep commitments where we give freely to others. Consider how freely a committed teacher gives to her/his students. Commitment is not just a matter of thinking and speaking. Commitment is something you must do in the present. It is something you must not only, “talk the talk,” but also “walk the walk!”

Do you have a comment on “commit?”

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