An Old Way with Words
My father in his off-handed way imparted some advice on us. Advice of which I have shared with my children and hopefully will to their children too.
“Your word is the only thing you truly own and take with you when you die.” By this he meant of all the things we collect, create and strive to achieve all we take with us is our word and how well we kept its truth.
“Your word is your bond,” is another way to say this and I imagine there are others. He did expand on this idea with various statements like, “It is how you will be judged by the world. It is your reputation.”
I have learned that your word is something no one can physically take from you. You own it and believe me it is a mutual ownership. It owns you too.
Let me quote the wisdom of Miguel Ruiz, in his little book The Four Agreements, “Keep your word impeccable.”
It is in this light that my father and all from his era and those before this, referred to and lived by. That time when a word and a handshake sealed a deal. So be trusted with your word.
If you make a promise, do not make it lightly. A promise made lightly can place a heavy burden on your word. A burden that will be with you for some time.
Sometimes you have no option but to break a promise or your word. As long as you tried your best but the world around you made it impossible for you to do so, as long as you made it in good faith (something only you would know if you did) then the weight of your digression shall be less burdensome because your intentions were honorable.
A bond of words holds the weight of a promise and should be thought of so. Be true with your word, to yourself, as well as the world. It is important to you. If you cannot trust your words yourself, how can others be expected to trust your words.
My father did not go into great detail about words and their power and importance. Much of the importance of my own word and the words of others, I learned throughout life. But he believed, as I have learned to, that your word is your reputation.
Your word is by far the greatest action for which you will be remembered.
Be Remembered Well.