From Judith Hogan, Director of Religious Education
“I have a loyalty that runs in my bloodstream, when I lock into someone or something, you can’t get me away from it because I commit that thoroughly. That’s in friendship, that’s a deal, that’s a commitment. Don’t give me paper – I can get the same lawyer who drew it up to break it. But if you shake my hand, that’s for life.”
— Jerry Lewis
Commitment. Hmmm… Let me free think this concept a moment and throw out some random word associations that pop up when I conceptualize the word COMMITMENT:
Associations: Drive, determination, dedication, fervor, intensity, passion, decisiveness, focus, hone in on, deep dive, etc., the list goes on. Mostly I feel that at the root of all things commitment there is loyalty. I don’t really don’t how anyone could possibly commit themselves to a cause, idea, person, task, or self without loyalty. And as I peel away the layers even further, the notion of loyalty as a foundational platform for commitment comes forward and makes absolute sense.
In loyalty there is agreement or allegiance to someone or something. For the purpose of this statement, I look at loyalty to self and the example often used about saving oneself before saving others, putting the oxygen mask on myself first before I can help my fellow travelers. My commitment to self is a habitual covenant that I hold dear. A covenant to self that I revise and revisit daily to ensure that I am and I do remain committed to all the ideas, ideals, people and things that matter most to me and my path forward. A covenant that is informed daily by the experiences, exchanges, and extraordinary diversity of all things that life has to offer me that is adjusted and refined as I evolve and grow in order for me to reflect what I learn and live by back to my environment and world around me.
The journey to commitment, paved with loyalty and bolstered by constant opportunities for growth and change, is in my eyes much like Dorothy’s quest in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” There will sometimes be companions and fellow travelers on this journey, and often there may even be sidetracks, questions, napping, distractions, and evil personified (there are falling houses for the latter), but as long as I stay true to my heart’s desires (Tin Man), whilst keeping a level head (Scarecrow), and do so with courage (Lion), my journey along this yellow path will be one that I can be proud of acknowledging with conviction/commitment.
All of this to say that while the path of commitment may become entangled with myriad opportunities for growth and expansion, by staying humble and true to myself while I constantly refine my personal covenant, will hopefully allow me to offer up the best version of myself as a contributing member of my environment. While Oz may not be the end result of the journey along my path of commitment, recognizing the auspiciousness of the opportunities as I encounter the unknown and unknowable makes the quest of life all the more fun.
Have a wonderfully committed March.