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Marriage and Family

A Time I Never Knew

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10/01/2011 - The older generation is often stereotyped by their reminiscing of the "good ol' days". One common picture is of an elderly couple sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch, talking about the way things USED to be, and how they long for those "simpler" days. While I too have very fond memories of how some things used to be different when I was younger, there are a few things that I never knew. These are some of the things I don't remember.

• I don't remember a time when filling my car at the pump was painless.

• I don't remember a political debate where candidates actually focused on issues.

• I don't remember when professional athletes were paid a reasonable amount of money.

• I don't remember a time when the majority of movies, music and TV shows were safe for kids.

• I don't remember a time when a person's word could be relied upon.

In this age, where we all must fight desperately if we desire to stand against the disease of selfishness, there are very few people who can be completely trusted by their words. If a person strikes up a deal, what usually follows are pages and pages of contracts. Any person who has bought a home or vehicle can attest to the number of signatures required. Not only do the lenders need signatures to act as the agreement, but they must also get collateral and run background and credit checks to ensure that the buyer is even capable of making the payments. The sellers can't be blamed though. There are way too many people who cannot be trusted; people who will not hesitate to be dishonest to obtain what they desire.

The sad part of this is that ALL of us do take part. I understand that not all of us will intentionally default on a loan, but all of us do go against our word at times. It's when we say we will do something, and then fail to follow through with our word. It's the promises we make to spouses, kids, parents or friends that we fail to honor. We agree to meet someone at an arranged time, and then we run late. We promise to quit a habit, or promise to do some chore, only to "forget." No wonder as a people we can't rely on each other. If we can't be trusted with the small things, how will we be trusted with the big things?

None of us will ever be perfect, but it will be a great challenge if we can all make it a point to let our yes mean yes and our no mean no. When we fail, the selfishness will also arise when we become defensive. We shift blame and deny our responsibility. Then we become offended when we are told we cannot be trusted. If we want to be trusted, we must be trustworthy. Let's focus on being true to our word in every way possible, no matter how small the promise.

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