During the last year that my oldest daughter was in public schools, I ran into a sticky situation. A friend of ours had given our family an invitation to a party well in advance. I checked the calendar, our family was free so we RSVP’d ‘yes’ and we notated it on the calendar. Within a week or so, a letter was sent home with my daughter that she would be partaking in an event at school with her music class. I sent a note back to the school letting them know that my daughter would not be able to attend the event, as this was a conflict with our prior engagement. The music teacher asked my daughter ‘what the event was?’ and my daughter answered the question honestly. The music teacher told her ‘attending a party doesn’t seem like a very good reason to miss my music program.’ The music teacher was so upset with my daughter that she made her sit aside during music class. She was told that if she did not participate in the program, she was not allowed to practice. My daughter was so embarrassed and hurt that she begged me to change my mind about the party so that we would attend the music program and her music teacher would be nice to her. This was my big opportune moment to teach a lesson.
I made my daughter look up the definition to the word ‘commitment’. The definition to the word commitment is ‘the act of committing’ or ‘the state of being committed’. The level of commitment can come in any garden variety! However, for our household, commitment means you do what you mean and you mean what you say!
With commitment, comes communication. If any member of my family or I commit to anything, it goes on the calendar. If we have a commitment, then we must communicate that commitment. Each night, I check the calendar to make sure all is set for the next day. We live by this rule because we live by commitment. And we are able to function with our commitments with communication.
If anyone in our family did not live by this, serious problems can occur. The range of these problems from lack of commitment or lack of communication is so broad; this blog cannot list all of it!
However, in a simple form, look at an activity in PEACH. When a sponsor plans an activity, much time and planning goes into this. The sponsor picks the location, contacts the appropriate person for planning, contacts the committee to setup for the PEACH calendar, completes a write up for the newsletter, comes to PEACH meetings in advance to take registrations and/or monies, then attends the fun activity. WOW! That is allot of commitment and communication! Imagine when you have a registration not show up or call to let you know of a delay or unable to come to your activity. The ripple effect. Another family could have had that spot, the tour guide/location has frustration with the group and the feelings of the sponsor that put all of this hard work into this activity – it can be hurtful or frustrating.
While life happens and changes must be adjusted, sometimes our commitments need those changes and adjustments as well. And as long as we all stay in communication, we can all stay in joy, compassion and love of one another.
Commitment and communication, two words that should be in our vocabulary through all the days of our life.