You have my word…

A couple of days ago, my little sister pinged me and said “hey dear, I want to show you something secret but please it’s for your eyes only.” My default response was you have my word… And then she went on to share what it was with me, having been assured that it would never get out.
Deception is as old as man. We have all lied at some point. In fact a while ago, a friend said “lies make the world go round”. I guess it’s not love anymore. But before we begin to argue that statement out, let’s get back on track.
It’s easy to tell someone “trust me, I’ll do this” or “trust me, I’ll take care of it, it’s nothing.” But how often do we come through on our word? Like I said, it’s easy to say. If people around you cannot trust that you will do what you say you will do, then you’re really looking at a difficult life ahead of you.
I know sometimes, we say things and then circumstances out of our control make it difficult for us to do them, but that’s not really what I’m talking about today. My point today is telling someone you’ll do something when you really have no intentions of getting it done, or making promises you know you will never be able to keep. My point is letting yourself get sworn to secrecy and carelessly yapping it all away… As always, I’m not writing as one who is perfect but as one who has learned and is merely coming to share. A few months ago, I shared critical information about a friend with a third party. I did not think it would be an issue given that the third party was a trusted confidant but the truth was I broke the trust of someone really close to me and that very action of mine threatened to rupture the very foundations of our friendship. But thankfully, we were able to work past that occurrence and forge ahead. There you go, I’m not flawless.
But here’s a quick truth. Not everyone would be as lucky as I was to get off lightly. When you give someone your word, you should make a conscious effort to stick to it. Mistakes are common, yes but there are certain mistakes that are too costly and once made can never be corrected. So let’s start with the basics. How about you don’t say things you do not mean? Or how about you don’t make promises you cannot keep? “Ah, don’t worry, I’ll send you the document first thing tomorrow morning” and yet you haven’t even commenced work on it and you know for a certainty that it will not be ready tomorrow.
I keep telling people, it’s the little things that count. If you’re meeting up with someone, don’t tell “I’m almost there” when you haven’t even left your house. If you’re given an assignment and the deadline is upon you, when the client calls, don’t say “I’m almost done” when you’re not even halfway through. Don’t tell that person you owe money to come to your office tomorrow when you know you’ll be out of town. Don’t tell them to go check their account balance when you have no intentions of going to the bank. Don’t tell the customer “your dress is almost ready” when you haven’t even cut the material. Don’t tell that friend “I’ll make it up to you” when you don’t even plan on doing so. Don’t say “I’ll call you back in 5 minutes” when 5 hours later they’ll still be waiting for your call… It’s the little things that count. You think it’s nothing or you think they would not mind much but I tell you, you’re definitely making an impression. And as much as these things might seem little, they eventually becoming major issues. It’s why our senators will promise to make our lives better when they’re campaigning but end up collecting hardship allowance while making our lives harder once they’re in. It’s why they’ll promise us free education but vote to legalize child marriage. Like I said, little things that grow into bigger things… But let’s not digress too much.
Sometime last year, I met a lady I was supposed to be working with. We talked at length that first day and I told her I would give her a call at 10:00am the following day. I just said it! To me, it wasn’t some huge deal. The following day, I was pretty busy but as soon as it was almost 10:00am, I rushed to a payphone to call her. My call to her went through on the dot of 10:00 and here’s what she said to me. “I was waiting patiently by my phone to see if you would actually call by 10:00am like you said and you did. I’m really impressed and I know I can trust you!” We became really good friends afterwards; now, we’re more like sisters.
You know my point by now. As much as possible, never say things you do not mean especially if you’re not joking. You really do not know who is observing. Like I said, sometimes we’re unable to come through on our word as a result of circumstances we could not control but outside of that, you must try to build a solid reputation for yourself. People will mostly remember you for what you did and not what you said you would do. So here’s how it works. When you say you’re going to do one thing and you end up doing another, I’ll remember what you did and when next you say to me that you’ll do one thing, I’ll invariably expect you to do the other.
As much as is humanly possible, let your word be your bond. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’ll be somewhere, be there! And if for any reason you do otherwise, let the people you have disappointed know that disappointing them was not intentional. Apologize genuinely and make very serious efforts to not disappoint again. And also try as much as possible to make it up to them. Go out of your way if you have to. It’s one way to earn respect for yourself. Trust is pretty fragile. Once it’s broken, you mostly would have a hard time mending it and if you’re unlucky, it’ll be impossible to mend.
So here’s where I wrap it up. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you’re going to have amazing relationships with people are home, at work or in the society in general, you must be able to earn their trust and do all in your power to never break it. Like I said, it’s never really in the saying but mostly in the doing. Let your word be your bond… Have a lovely time ahead. I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours Always,

19 thoughts on “You have my word…

  1. Hmmm am guilty of dis*cover face* I remember I promised 2 of my student b-dy gift n I totally forgot. Wen dey reminded me I felt so, but wit dis piece I wl repent.😀


    • Lol. Please repent o. It’s pretty bad to break the trust of children.😀
      Try to make it up to them. If someone promises me a birthday gift, I would really want them to remember and give it to me without asking. That tells me I’m important to them.🙂 oya, go and buy gifts for your students! Lol
      Thanks for your feedback dear. Cheers🙂


  2. Very nice piece as always. And this time, you didn’t visit my head, thank you. 

    I truly agree with you, we must aspire to be credible and rid ourselves of the cheap mentality prevalent here and now where we say what we don’t mean to gain some advantage or defer an inconvenience or simply tell people what we believe they will like to hear. I’m work in progress and I have made tremendous progress since I made the decision to be a woman of my word. I try to take notes of the promises/commitments I make so I am reminded to do them for instance, those help to avoid those inadvertent omissions or plain simple forgetfulness.

    We must not be greedy, sometimes we take on tasks/jobs we know we cannot complete or set unattainable timelines to clinch a deal, trying to act like super humans. Bottom line, be true to yourself, decide to always be honest and if you have nothing true to say, instead of some untruth, please say nothing. Beyond the incredible damage to your reputation in the long run, you are a much better person if you act honestly and stay true to who you are. You will be consistent and help can more easily reach you. I also believe you sleep better and just walk a taller. Never mind the pervasive culture of subtle dishonesty, being a man/woman of your word pays. It is an intangible asset with significant future benefits.

    Thanks again for this peice.🙂


  3. Hmmn. Well, as always u just made this piece complete! I couldn’t agree more! Don’t bite off more than u can chew, stay true to yourself and in a perverse world where lies are “normal” we must endeavour to be honest at all times. Thank u so much ma’am, I really appreciate your feedback.🙂
    Plus I told you you didn’t have to worry about me getting into your head all the time.😀


  4. may God help us. broken promises have become the norm. That’s if they weren’t even always were.

    I’ve found that writing down promises is very useful. Integrity says “I’ll keep my promises”.

    Good job oge🙂


    • Thanks Maxx. Yeah, writing really does help. Remember that session we had on time management with Chuba where he said we should always write stuff down? It’s also applicable here. We make mental notes but we mostly forget. So if you’re telling someone you’re gonna do something, you’d best note it down somewhere so you won’t forget. Thank you for your feedback. it is really appreciated. Cheers🙂


  5. Ogechi, my very own sister from another mother, Nwane-nnayin. This piece is so so enlightening. You are an authourity in this area of making ur-word-ur bond. I remember that incidence exactly 13 months ago, u had promised to pull that call thru to me by 10am, and my usual habit of keepin to time, I held on to my phone just b4 10am waiting for your call. And on the very dot of 10am ur call came through. That adds up to the so many reasons that has brought us so close today. I trust u sis, I can tell u anyfing, cos i know its safe wif u. Sis, I finally began work wif my PA on those writings we discussed, so in a few months they’ll be ready for publishing. Keep the flag flyin. I will always love u *hugs*.


    • Awww. Thanks sis. I feel pretty washed right here!😀 but I know you’re for real. I’m excited to hear about your writing and I’ll be excitedly looking forward to the published works. I love u alwaysly sis. *hugs right back*🙂


  6. Okay so I have let go of my venom and have finally forgiven “whatever” obstacle that hindered my earlier comment from being uploaded!anyway,my namesake did not disappoint at all! How true we often make commitments we have to intention of keeping because we think its the “honourable” thing to do at the time!funny I had to learn the hard way from my 7yrs old nephew.I was always so hasty to make promises I knew I wasn’t even going to remember the next minute because I thought it was the “aunty” thing to do!however after he “embarassed” me severally,I had to be conscious of making even the minuteste commitments….no saying “ttyl”-talk to you later!when I know I don’t plan on doing that!funny many folks have made “ttyl” or “brb” the synonym of goodbye!just say bye simple!my point is :word in due season!weldone!….@ogetours


    • Lol. Sorry about the “obstacles”. I’m glad your little nephew helped get u back on track!😀 kids are really amazing like that. And yeah, a lot of us have made “brb” and “ttyl” signify the end of a conversation, most times leaving the other person hanging. I guess we should try to be more conscious of what we say and not throw words around just because. Thanks for your feedback sis. Cheers🙂


      • Im soo guilty *running away…. sometimes we rily dnt knw how much ppl hold on to d littlest promises we make to them…..its jes best we keep quiet knowing fully well dat we wont fulfill dem…nice one swits


      • lool. We are all guilty my dear! Everyone of us has done this at one point or the other. The most common is the “brb” we text on whatsapp or bbm and 5 hours later, we’re still not back. So yeah, you’re right. If we aren’t certain of keeping promises, no matter how little, then we should not make them because you don’t know how much that person might really be holding on to what you said. Thanks a mega bunch love, cheers.🙂


  7. I’m really impressed by this…made me realize i have really let people down in the past. This is a new beginning for me. Would definitely let my word be my bond and watch what i say.


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