Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Keeping Your Word Is A Black And White Issue

St Mungo, Clifton Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

June 8, 1983



This essay, Keeping Your Word Is A Black And White Issue, is the prequel to Honoring Your Word.

It is also the second in the trilogy Keeping Your Word:
  1. Keeping Your Word Means Making Happen What You Said Is Going To Happen
  2. Keeping Your Word Is A Black And White Issue
  3. Three Distinctions Of Word
in that order.

It is also the third in a group of twelve adapted from my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING:


If what I said I would make happen doesn't happen exactly as I said it would happen, for whatever the reason, then I did not keep my word.

If I keep my word every time I give it, then I'm not playing big enough.

Whenever we give our word, we can phrase it whichever way we choose. There's a subtle lack of fit between what we say we'll make happen, and what actually happens.

Furthermore, we often dismiss this lack of fit as inevitable. We make little distinction between making happen what we said is going to happen, and having a reasonable excuse for not making happen what we said is going to happen. It is as if the reasonable excuse negates the fact that you didn't do what you said you were going to do.

However, you don't keep your word in order to be right: you keep your word in order to keep your word. You make happen what you said is going to happen just because you said you would.


This essay, Keeping Your Word Is A Black And White Issue, originally appeared in my thesis BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING which is available at

http://www.laurenceplatt.com/breakthrough

The essay BREAKTHROUGH SKYDIVING introduces the thesis.


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