There seems to be trouble with the word ‘commit’ these days. It is highlighted by the National Signing Day and all of the hustle and bustle for the best high school football players available by schools all across the land. Many have committed (or so we thought) while some have decommitted (a new word I think). Now we’re hearing of a university decommitting from their scholarship commitment to a young athlete, leaving the young man to search for someone else to commit to him so that he can commit to them.
These are the young man’s words: “I felt lost and hopeless. I mean, I had shut down my recruiting and basically gave everything to those guys – my commitment, my word and everything. Now my commitment and your commitment isn’t the same thing.”
This is too much. What happened to the phrase, ‘your word is your bond?’ What happened to a contract being sealed with a handshake? What is the problem with the word commit?
It’s showing up everywhere! More and more people have commitment issues related to their ‘love’ interests, friendships, business relationships, and even with relationship with God. Longstanding institutions are finding it difficult to survive because of commitment issues.
I love you but I can’t commit (Isn’t that a misnomer?) I want you on my team but I want to grayshirt you (after offering the scholarship). We can do business together but . . . I believe in the Lord, but I am not ready to ‘commit.’
It seems there is always but . . . not the one with two t’s, just one, which communicates ‘no commitment.’ There is always an underlying current, a risky possibility, a remote chance, a shred of doubt or something that keeps people from using the word or execute the action of commit.
Committed? Really, are you all in with no holdouts, no hidden agenda, no reluctance, no hesitancy or doubt? Really, because if you’re committed, doesn’t that mean to entrust something (That is a form of trust I think). Commitment carries weight because each party realizes it is binding upon both of them. (Usually! But, the language is in transformation, obviously.) And, the agreement obligates (It did at one time!) parties to perform certain acts or to deliver on certain matters mentioned in the commitment.
Well, National Signing Day is almost here and we will see how these commitments pan out.
But every day presents opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to some things such as our relationships, our institutions, our businesses, values and principles without which our whole society will be in turmoil. Do we really have society without trust or commitment?
That may explain some things.