What Does Commitment Mean?

If everything is dispensable, what is worthwhile?

flavors-faithLast week, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of PEO women about my new book. It was a small, intimate group of dynamic career women, and I have to say it may have been my favorite speaking engagement yet because it was natural, the conversation flowed, and everybody was riveted.

Yesterday, while talking to my friend Monica, who is the chapter president, she said that PEO meeting attendance is mandatory – she thinks it may be one reason why the organization is struggling to attract new, younger members.

I had to jump in. “I don’t think that’s what you need to change,” I said. “Maybe the problem is with the new normal, where it’s ok to blow off anything and not honor a commitment.”

Seriously. What’s the deal with not having time for the things we commit to? How can any organization run if people don’t show up? When you join, what do you think you’re doing exactly? Putting your name on a list and wishfully thinking you might one day participate in one small thing?

You see, commitment, or showing up, is essential to keep anything meaningful going. We show up to work because we have to, right? Our lives demand money so we work to feed our habits.

Why don’t we show up for ourselves, for the commitments we voluntarily make? For our kids’ schools? For relationships we willingly enter into?

What has happened to our society?

Apparently, PEO used to be a ladies-who-lunch kind of setup. The meetings required skirts only (no pants, thank you) and midday luncheons on silver and china. Clearly, times have changed.

But maybe not for the better.

I’d love to be invited somewhere where my Lululemon pants, or my jeans, aren’t welcome. I’d love to be invited to something where I need to compose myself, physically and emotionally. I’d love for comportment and manners and elegance to matter.

No era is perfect. We are better in some ways today, to be sure.

But the gratitude and respect of the past are missed. There’s a gaping hole in today’s world that I fear will only widen, never to be filled.

Tonight, I am hosting another Power Table. You can bet I am going to show up 100%, looking nice and with my focus on the matter at hand, the relationships before me.

It’s the only way I can see to do things right.

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