I told my kids that we were going to do something once (go to one of those big
indoor water parks) and circumstances changed and we didn't end up being
able to go. I heard about that for many YEARS from my children because I
didn't keep a commitment that I verbally made to them. The
father in this story was wise to not tell about the trip prior to being sure he
could follow through. The kid could have asked why he was being asked to do it
two days early before committing, but once the commitment is made- even if it is
small it should be kept if at all possible as your honor is riding on it.@Capsaicin- That thought process is exactly why we have a society that
can not be trusted. "I'll back out if something better comes
along" leads to not being able to trust someone. If something is too small
that you may not be able to follow through then don't commit to it. Your
word should be your bond- especially on little things.
@CapsaicinWe teach our children about commitments on unimportant
things so that a stumble or two along the way won't have unbearable
consequences. The father didn't lecture the son because the lawn was
important. He lectured him because keeping commitments is important. It was a
teaching moment, not a lawn-mowing moment.
"You don’t understand that when a man says he will do something,
he’s making a commitment"...heaven help me if i'm THAT kind of
dad when I request my son mow the lawn. Really? It's the lawn. Not a
million dollar or even twenty dollar contract. Contracts are only as important
as the subject youre dealing with. The lawn...not so important.
@Pops got it right on. What good are we if we can't keep our commitments?
The boy agreed to mow the lawn but then didn't. Who cares what the reasons
were, he said he'd do it and then he didn't. Previous comments show
that we've got a major problem in society, that people are willing to keep
commitments as long as it benefits them. What a shame that we're doing
such a disservice to our children by holding this mentality.
I don't agree with the latter train of thought in the comments. Of what
value is a conditional commitment? It means nothing. Neither a family nor a free
society can work without trust, and when commitments are honored only when it is
convenient there can be no trust.Justifying the breaking of a
commitment because one isn't aware of all the facts relevant to the
commitment suggests that omniscience is the only condition under which they can
be reliably made.
I agree with George and Southmtnman. Had the author known why he was asked to
mow the lawn, he probably would have turned down the Lagoon ticket and honored
his "commitment." He needed all of the information, not just "mow
the lawn" two days earlier than normal. The author intended to mow it the
next day which, in my view, with the facts at hand, would have been fine. He did
not know he wasn't going to be there.
I agree, George. "I didn't want to get your hopes up" is a flimsy
excuse for withholding important information.Authoritarians demand
blind obedience, obedience without explanation or transparency. And such
authoritarianism is ripe for corruption because it can hide behind its authority
and does not allow questioning. It is not accountable to anyone but itself.The father was wrong. The kid did nothing wrong here. Giving your word
and making commitments under incomplete information is not valid. The father
should have known that.
I understand the point about being a a stand up guy. If it was me I would of
been depressed about not being told about the California knowing how hard it
would be to cut the grass when we got back. It was my job to cut the grass, Why
didn't he say any thing before. Trust works both ways.
I truly hatted our old push mower, es-specially if the grass was long. The tall
grass would bind up in the blades. The blisters on my hands before they grew
calluses. Pulling it back than shoving it forward as fast as I could to spin the
blades over and over all day. I was so glad when we got the gas mower.