Conviction and Promise
Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"When it comes down to it, your behaviour determines your character"
A lot of people often make tall statements. But, unfortunately, when it comes down to it, when they have to act on their beliefs, most people chicken out. A lot of people have the bark, but very very few people have the bite to go through.
When people are in some situations, they tend to make tall promises. A classic example is shown in the Mahabharata when Drupada made bold promises to his best friend, Drona, that he would give half his kingdom to Drona, a poor Brahmin, when Drupada, a prince, would become the king. However, when Drupada was crowned and Drona came to him, Drupada said that he didn't even recognise him. Au contraire, he even insulted him and threw him out.
When it comes down to acting on the promise made, people often back out. People often say that the circumstances under which the promise was made and the circumstances at which they break it are different... But if that's the case, then that's not called as a promise. Another analogy is rules - people make rules, and then make exceptions. The moment you make an exception, it ceases to be a rule. Rules, by definition, are to be enforced.
These are just some simple examples. I have seen a lot of such cases, where people make some promises, and then, when times become harder, they give up, they back off. A simple example would be of people when in love. "No matter what happens, I will never ditch you" And this is very often not the case. Whether the guy found a different girl, or the girl buckled to the pressure of parents, or vice versa for both, or any other reason, all tall promises made are forgotten. What's the point?
When there is trouble, and you don't want to get dirty, messy and not be involved, don't do it. It's perfectly natural to protect yourself. It is perfectly natural to say "Hey, I will definitely try". But, if you cannot do it, then don't promise. Many people take promises seriously. And it will definitely hurt when the other person backs out. So, the next time, you want to make a promise, first think, see if you have the strength and conviction to go through the entire deal - a promise to stick by, is a promise that has to be honoured. If you don't, then don't make a promise.
A guy I know, talks big against China behind their back - but he lacks the will to speak publicly against China out of fear of offending them. People tend to give up on convictions out of fear of repercussions and for wanting to be politically correct. If you are going to change your stance to suit others, then you have no spine, you have no conviction. Then don't talk big. For you lack the strength to support your words.
When I was a child, I used to wonder why the gods showered flowers on Bhishma when he took an oath to never marry. What's the big deal? It was just a promise. But he made a promise, that the gods knew, he would definitely keep. If you are a person, of strength and honour, make promises. If you are not a person of strength, but of honour, don't make a promise...
Comments from Facebook
Worthy follow up to the 'yes man' ... Keep them coming nik ;)
:) Thanks Hemanth!