The Nature of Commitment

Why do we commit to what we do?

Why do parents of very sick kids hang in there when the personal, social and financial costs can be so high?

Why do spouses stick with their partners even though some accident or illness has completely changed who they are for years, or even for the rest of their life?

Why do children sacrifice their own younger lives to care for their parents who have less of a future?

Why do medical staff still go to work in pandemic conditions when it means they must live apart from their families and face horrific conditions every day?

Why do many police and firefighters and soldiers etc. all risk death every day just to save the lives of strangers?

Why do great scientists endure 30 years of failure in order to find the cure to a disease?

Why do good teachers care so much, when they know the kids often care so little?

It’s the same reason that I care for my parents. We can’t even say we ‘want to,’ or that we ‘think it’s important.’ Those are after-thoughts we have. But the fact is, people undertake those things because we are driven to. We feel as though there is no real choice, these are things we simply must do.

When looking for what you can invest in that will create value in your life, look at the things you’ll do that many others won’t. Maybe it’s big and noble, like dragging someone from a burning building. But it can also be something smaller, like a need to keep things organized, or on schedule, or beautiful, or efficient, etc.

Our impulses point to who we are at our core. Get to know that person. Because that version of us has a special grace to them. That person can do what others will not, and we can even make it look easy. And what makes it easy, is that we’re not doing it because it’s the right thing to do, we’re doing it because it’s our thing to do.

When it comes to the commitment my parents have shown to each other in their 72 year marriage, and to the commitment I have shown in caring for them for the last decade, I cannot think of any clearly expression of it than this song.

It is fittingly sung not just by Bruce Springsteen, but by every member of his band. I leave it here today as a reminder. Because the commitment to others that the song speaks of, only works if we first have committed to being ourselves, wherever that takes us. Do not wonder if you are deserving of love. Simply enact your love

peace. s