A particularly nasty “Black” stereotype is that we cant be trusted to keep commitments. We have all heard of BPT (Black Peoples Time), and we have all had experiences with chasing down someone that owes us money or a followup on a commitment, so it begs the question; Are you as good as your word??
Just left the barbershop where I was highly entertained by the half-hour tirade of Boon over at Skips Barber Shop. Boon was pissed that the neighborhood carpenter hadnt come through to drop off the fresh stock of bootleg DVDs for the week. I was pissed too…I actually had to pay to go see Immortals (FYI: There was only one Black dude in the movie, and he died in the first 12 minutes. And he was a security guard. SMH.)
But on a serious note, we all know that dude.
They break those promises. They forget about the money they owe you. They pretend they never said they would drop off the bootlegs on Wednesday.
Like love, sticking to commitment takes dedication and effort. Hard, hard work. And the dedication to stick to putting in that hard work is far more difficult to achieve. Most people – let alone Black folks – don’t actually have it in them to follow through on their commitments.
You see, commitment is easy. It’s just you making a vow. A promise. “I’m going to do this!”
We see this every New Year, with the same resolutions made and still left unaccomplished by years end (now would be a good time to look back over your list from 2010-11).
But once the moment has passed and everyone’s forgotten about the promise you made, it’s easy to slip out of the room unnoticed. And if somebody asks about that commitment you made/the money you owe them/when you are going to fix something that you promised you would, you probably think up some excuse. “Didn’t have the time – things just got too busy. I will have that money to you when I get it”
You might even try to make em think you still have good intentions to actually follow through on your commitment. “I haven’t forgotten about it. I got you, dawg! I just been busy!”
Life isn’t going to slow down. You’re always going to be busy. And to be blunt, if you take an honest look at what’s keeping you ‘busy’, you’ll probably see that you do indeed have the time. (Watching football isnt being “busy”)
You just aren’t dedicated to your commitment.
Committment is what Black men and women in America need right now more than ever.
Committment to each other, our children, our communities, and our cause.
One of the problems with commitments is that people tend to encourage making them. We get all excited when people say they’re going to do something.
Well, all that encouragement and support is nice, but it’s as worthless as the empty calories in McDonald’s fries.
We shouldn’t be praising commitment. We should be praising dedication. Effort. Sticking to it. LOVE.
And each time we hear someone make a promise to take action, we shouldn’t get excited. We should say, “Word? Prove it.”
Harsh? Maybe. Better? I think so.
*A great place to start is with the promises you make to your children. You might forget, they never do.