On my way to and from work, I always pass by this complex that houses a bakery, restaurant, supermarket, a barbecue and Shisha/ Hookah joints.
The thing that captivates me about this property is the lawn out front: It is well-manicured and always looking freshly cut, with beautiful, showy red, violet and yellow flowers marking its edges. This is the result of the gardener’s watering, pruning and weeding – I see him doing his work when I pass by in the mornings. I cannot remember ever passing by that place without looking out of the window to feed my eyes and mind with its flowery delight.
This picturesque scene almost always triggers a daydream in which I own a flamboyant, out-of-this-world garden that always leave passersby delightfully stunned. Then it nudges me out of my reverie by dredging up the quote by John Fletcher, a Jacobean playwright, “A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds.”
Visualise the picture-perfect beauty of the lawn described above, but this time with the unmistakable presence of unwanted plants called weeds. Imagine, a beautiful garden overrun by weeds; a beautiful stretch of turf pockmarked with grass that shouldn’t be there.
It is ugly!
Such is the image we project when our words are not backed with the appropriate and deserved action.
It is disheartening to observe the place accorded to lies and insincerity. Sincerity has become so unpopular that a blatant lack of integrity is celebrated – liars and the unscrupulous are seen as smart and astute businessmen and women, savvy politicians and wise leaders; divorce is rife because spouses are insincere and not committed.
Admittedly. it can be overwhelming when you choose to be ‘a man or woman of your words.’ You will be called names, excluded and shunned, by even those who should share the same values with you; you may lose priviledges and deserving opportunities. Yet it is better, by far, to have a befitting name and reputation than to be known as a garden, only for people to look in and be repulsed by the weeds of your laziness, lack of commitment, or insincerity and lies.
When you give your word, be intentional and unreservedly committed to keeping it. When you are committed to something or someone, don’t just talk about it. Do it! Live it out!
What do you think keep people from keeping their words?
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