Friday, April 24, 2009

Virtues - Commitment

I should begin by pointing out I have not been very committed to blogging lately. Things have gotten really busy, but my schedule is opening up (so to speak).

I'm going to work for the last time Friday. Nothing bad happened, the school year is just ending. However, it doesn't look like I'll be asked back next fall due to budget cuts. I'm the highest paid tutor where I work, and I already passed on a raise last January in order to stay employed this long. In all my years of half-assing life, I never dreamed I would lose a job for being over-qualified.

Looking for a job right now is about as fun as it sounds. However, it isn’t even my top priority. My wedding is in about three weeks, and there’s plenty to be done. I have yet to finish the vows/ceremony. We’re having a self-uniting marriage, so there is no officiate, and I’m writing the entire thing from scratch. I want there to be no mention (positive or negative) of religion. I’m not worried, since it looks like I’ll have plenty of time of unemployment before the wedding.

I don’t know what language “commitment” comes from, and I guess I don’t really care. I like the word and what it stands for. I like it much more than other terms for similar concepts. In particular, the word “duty” never sat well with me. For one thing, it’s a pseudo-homophone with “doody.” I don’t like the idea of duty, either, because it implies that people are expected to do certain things, regardless of who they are or what they believe. I think the only obligation we have in society is to stay out of the way unless you’re pitching in to help.

There’s no denying there are things in life we have to do, even if we don’t want to. However, duty often calls us to work towards an end we have no interest in. Armies and businesses rely on duty. “I was just doing my job” is the classic defense of scoundrels, from Nuremburg to Wall Street. Commitment, however, appeals to me because it always seems to apply to a personal goal.

Love is a compromise. It is also an acknowledgement that two people can achieve more together than they can alone, materially and emotionally. What makes us give up our egotistical lives in order to make it work with someone else? There is something gained, even as we are giving something up.

Of course, commitment may be crazy. In fact, we say people who are insane should be "committed." People also "commit" murder, or crimes of passion. The consequences are always severe when we commit, maybe because taking a stand is so hard.

I look forward to the commitment of marriage because I know there is no way I could ever be the person I hope to one day become without her. Nothing else in my life hinges on belief the way love does, and it is times like these I am reminded I am not without some kind of faith. There isn't much certainty in the world, but I can say with complete honesty and conviction that I have found the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with (since we all know she'll outlive me).


  1. Well said. :-)
    I was explaining something similar to a group of theists last month. I was lucky enough to find someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I did get married in a chapel though, because my wife (at the time) was catholic - I considered it a small sacrifice on my part.
    It wasn't the vows I made in front of any 'god' but the sincere, honest promise I made in my heart that has formed an unbreakable bond between us.
    Anyway, best wishes to you both. :-)

  2. Tsk. Gmail accounts. My missus didn't log out of her email. The previous should have linked to...

    When she reads it, I'm going to get teased. ;-)


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