Promising and keeping the promise

Promising and keeping the promise… is one of the fundamental building stones of bilateral relationships. I was five or six years old. An employee of my father said: “when winter comes I will make you a lorry out of snow! You’ll get in it and drive off!” He had said that out of the blue.

Maybe he had said this to many other children, or maybe he just felt like saying it at that moment… Please believe me when I say, that year I was counting the days but it felt like winter would never come. Finally that day did arrive. “Come on!” I said. He did not understand. “What do you mean?” he asked. “Were you not going to make me a snow lorry?” My patience was about to run out. “My son, do you really think that this is possible?” Psychological trauma must be something like this. I was made a fool of, belittled and degraded. I swallowed it down, but you can draw your own conclusions from the fact that I still remember the incident. Years passed and I realized that the frequent promising and not keeping one’s promise is closely related to the socio-cultural level. I won’t even mention the role of family upbringing. We often discuss the question “Are humans fundamentally good?” “Are they bad?” Is it not so that the reply reflects cultural and personal differences… It seems to me that in societies were promises are kept the reply will be “humans are good”. In some societies exaggerated promises are made, often as a display of power, and sometimes as wishful thinking, but the promises are not kept because there no longer is any need to keep them. I want to end this text with an anecdote. A man was desperately searches for a parking space. As he failed to do so he prayed to God: “Dear God, help me to find a parking space, I will give alms to the poor!” At that moment a parking space became vacant. He said “Dear God, thank you but there is no need for you to help anymore!” My wish for everyone is a social network that consists of self-confident people who keep their promises…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan