Monday 18 January 2016

Short Crust or Flaky?

Is it my imagination or have we as a society become rather flaky these days?

This has happened to me several times in recent weeks - people making an arrangement and then backing out at the last minute or simply just not turning up.

Of course this can be excused in times of crisis or illness, but very often people are flaky because a better option has come along, or they simply just can't be bothered.

Not only is this disappointing for the person who has been let down, but it shows a complete lack of respect by the perpetrator. Making a commitment with someone shows a sign of respect to that person - it tells them that they are important and worthy of our attention.

When we break that commitment, it tells the person that they are no longer as important as they were when the arrangement was made because something/someone else has come along that is more important and more demanding of our attention.

Not only are we showing a lack of respect to others when we renege on arrangements, we are also showing a lack of self-respect. The moment we feel pressured into changing our prior arrangement means that we are putting the needs of others before our own. Of course there will always be exceptional circumstances, but generally we are entitled to give our own needs and wishes priority and request that others wait their turn.

Very often we get sent a text message to remind us of a forthcoming appointment. This may well improve the attendance rates but it is actually relieving us of our responsibility to honour our original commitment.

And if we find ourselves breaking a commitment for legitimate reasons, then there really is no excuse for failing to letting people know. Left to their own devices, the person who has been let down may jump to the wrong conclusion and wonder what they have done to upset the other person; either that or they'll fear the worst.

It is worth noting that children, elderly and vulnerable people do not handle a lack of commitment well. By their very nature they are indeed vulnerable and they rely on trust - breaking a commitment will disappoint hugely and will erode trust.

Let's leave flakiness to pastry and endeavour to make our commitments short crust and solid.