Houston, we have a problem. Over-promising and then under-delivering. And I am not just referring to our government which, to my politically uneducated yet fairly logical mind, is definitely not delivering what was vehemently promised.
And I am also not referring to the advertising that vows, ‘After using our product for one month, you will have the glowing smooth skin of a teenager!’ Even though you are seventy-seven years old. Or the TV commercials featuring erupting geysers and water hoses running amok. (Don’t scratch your head in confusion, men. You know what I am talking about.)
I was a hands-on mom for many years. I know what it is like to tell my kiddos they will get a certain sweet treat after they have had their nap, and then reach into the Do-Not-Touch-Drawer, only to find I had forgotten to buy more. (Yep, I was a mom who regulated their sugar intake.) And unfortunately, I can also remember the looks on their faces when we were not able to go on a family outing as promised, because Dad had an emergency pastoral hospital visit that disrupted our plans. Oh yes, I am very aware of the consequences of not fulfilling a promise. Disappointed eyes, quivering lips, and a certain amount of “Ain’t fair!” yelled over their shoulder as they stomped and slammed into their bedroom.
A broken promise is way worse than simply being told up front, “No way am I going to let you have that!” Why? Because, a promise shoots someone’s hopes and confidence in you sky high, and then when that promise is broken, you have to watch the shattered results hit the ground. And if you cause that scenario to occur very many times, then you just might have to watch as they start losing faith in what you say. They lose faith in you. And when that happens, you have paid an enormous price for breaking your promises.
Reminds me of that dishonest bag of oranges in my kitchen right now. They look SO good. Enormous, bright orange and unblemished, they promise a huge amount of tart, tangy, sweet juice running down my chin when I take a bite. But the problem begins as I began to peel. And peel, and peel. By the time I get to the actual fruit, I have a large pile of worthless peelings in front of me, and a small, dried- up, poor imitation of an orange in my hand. Juicy, hah! Ever heard of ‘better luck getting blood out of a turnip?’ I told my better half that I am sick and tired of believing what each orange is promising. Learned my lesson, and not gonna fall for their good looks any more. Just throw them and their pretty promises in the garbage.
Folks, I have watched as that same reaction unfolds in the lives of people around me. “I’ve fallen for your promises for the last time! You can play me for a fool for a while, but not forever! You’re outta here!”
Learn from the deceitful orange.