The word promise is both a noun and a verb. One definition found in Webster’s online dictionary is “a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified.”
The verb: “to pledge to do, bring about, or provide.”
Even 5-year-old children know about promises. Adults don’t have to actually voice the words, “I promise.” When an adult says he or she will do something kids expect it to happen. If you know anything about children you can say with certainty, they will question all things pertainingto a perceived promise that is not fulfilled.
Case in point: My granddaughter is 12 now but when she was 5 something happened that made me realize how much she took my words to heart. She was spending the night and chose cereal at snack time. Then, after she scraped the last bit of cereal from her bowl, she decided she would rather have ice cream. I spoil my grandchildren but not to that extent.
Knowing she would be with me the next evening too, I told her she could have ice cream “tomorrow.”
The next day dawned and it was time to dress, have breakfast, and get to preschool. As I placed breakfast in front of her, she looked up at me and said, “But Nana, it’s tomorrow.”
Technically it was “today” but I listened to her explain that I’d told her last night she could have ice cream “tomorrow.” I squirmed a little and explained that I meant she could have ice cream as her snack tomorrow, certainly not for breakfast. We debated.
Long story short, I dished up a tiny bit of ice cream to go with her otherwise healthy breakfast and she was happy. Nana kept her “promise.” All was well with the universe.
As adults, where politics are involved, I’m of the opinion that we don’t question unfulfilled promises enough, if at all. The worst part about it is that we don’t have the expectations that children have. We don’t insist that goals are met. We don’t even have the sense to stop making or believing promises – or carefully watch our words. In politics, we are fooled into thinking our party keeps promises and the opposite party does not. Period. Can anyone, regardless of party, make genuine promises and actually bring them to fruition just because they speak it? I think not. There are just too many other factors that play a part. Let’s acknowledge that people looking to be elected are going to obtain votes by making grandstand promises. I’m like a 5-year-old at this point … I want candidates to mean what they say. Take that noun and make it a verb.
According to Pierce Brown, author of the science fiction “Red Rising” series, “Liars make the best promises.” In my opinion, this is true.
Donald Trump made some grandstand promises. A wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it. Is that a reality? He will work for the people, not Washington. Does he mean ALL people or just Republicans? He did recently say that states with Democratic governors should receive no bailouts (due to the pandemic). Wouldn’t he be punishing Republicans in those states as well by holding back funds? Didn’t he say that if Democrats wanted help from the government, they should also do something nice for him? Dare I say that sounds like another “quid pro quo?”
Trump went into office promising to “drain the swamp.” Has the draining begun or is the swamp getting deeper?
There are people out there documenting the lies and ridiculous statements made by Trump. The one I saw was a rather long read and each item can easily be fact-checked. Most I’ve heard with my own ears during Trump’s daily ego trips otherwise known as briefings or press conferences. Even Twitter is getting fed up with his specious rants and accusations.
To my amazement, people have not mentioned the epic beast of a lie told from day one of his campaign. That would be his slogan, Make America Great Again. Has he? Let’s address that.
Can the power of one man bring that about? He actually thinks he is doing just that and will claim that he is. But wait, he can’t even get along with people he hired, so they have to go. They are replaced by those who can please him better. This president is teaching Americans how NOT to be great again. Our nation is divided and full of hateful rhetoric and it started at the top.
The troublesome thing … it started on the campaign trail before the actual election. And the appalling thing … supporters jumped on that bandwagon and applauded it, joining in and spewing the same. That’s the main reason this country is not great right now. It’s not one person that canget this country back … it will take new leadership and a conflation of many groups of people from both parties making an effort to work together.
I recently read a quote by Karen Marie Moning. She basically thinks words don’t mean anything in reality. She said, “The wisest man is a silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them.”
I must disagree about the words. Words do matter. A 5-year-old will take words to heart and hold the speaker accountable. Be like a 5-year-old.
A person’s choice of words can be calming and promote peace, or they can bring about hate and unrest. This is true at any age and at any level of responsibility.
I do agree with the second part of Moning’s quote and to use an old cliché, sometimes actions do speak louder than words. “Examine a person’s actions. Judge him by them.”
Also, as you’re judging and making decisions about who you will vote for in November, think about each candidate, regardless of party, and whether or not they are capable and willing to bring about positive changes. Bring some sanity back to America. There isn’t anyone doing that right now.
Author Carol Hartsoe lives in Bear Creek.