A promise is a strange concept. Across vast distances and cultural differences, there seems to my meagre knowledge to be a consistency regarding verbal bonds. Philosophically, a promise as it is most commonly interpreted is flawed. Fated or not, the future is unknown to all.
If we cannot know with certainty what is to happen mere moments in the future, how can we make a promise?
At the same time, people are generally wary of someone who refuses to commit themselves to delivering on something, so it helps to reassure them by telling them shit will go down as you say it, or Polar Bears are black (wait… do they have inverted albinos?).
It’s a moot concept that, like many other social etiquette peculiarities, has evolved because of a need to not live in fear that the lovely old silver-haired grandma across the road from you is actually a criminal syndicate mastermind responsible for extortion and armed robbery.
Yes, that’s right – trust. We have created promises to foster relationships and build trust for the good of the tribe. I always found it hard to commit to anything, from saying “yes” to an invitation to dinner with the parents next weekend to throwing the boxing match for Marcellus Wallace (wait… that’s my Bruce Willis personality trying to break through again – BACK BOY!).
Maybe people with general commitment issues aren’t just harbouring a penchant for avoiding obligations, but are actually astutely aware of the implicit uncertainty that lies ahead, and therefore cannot in good faith sign a verbally binding contract with anyone.
Or maybe that’s my mind trying to rationalise this cognitive dissonance “Bruce Willis style” again.