The ‘airy fairy’ promise, the ‘rash’ promise, the late night ‘on a promise.’ From the colloquial to the world renowned promise, we have all come across our fair share.
Promises can be both passive – I promise never I will never be late again, please don’t be angry at me and aggressive – I promise you that you will be sorry if you leave me waiting here for you, you just wait and see!
A ‘Rash Boon’ or a ‘Blind Promise’, dating back to folklore tales where a promise is to be indebted for a reward is often quickly made without hearing what the request is. Normally this would be for the impossible love of a woman whom men will quickly pledge to do anything for in return…suffice to say that this never seems to end well. Not much changes over the years!
Fairy tales will lead us in the direction of seeing where a promise ends. Will the evil villain stay true to type and double cross the pure heroine? Will the handsome prince return to his kingdoms with the fair maiden as his bride? The more traditional tale having the moral clear for us to see. These are read with the hopeful intent that they will lead our youngsters on the right path. Just before bed, knowing that honestly will help in their quest to become prince or princess of their land – or their very own small box room in the case of our youngest.
But do they really take this in or is there an innate nature over nurture principle at work here which no amount of prince charming chiseled perfection will be able to dampen.
Tonight I had a great example, the situation and conversation went like this….
I heard a crash from the lounge – I entered and there was ‘G’ our 7yr old standing there with a piece of the ceiling chandelier in his hand. At his feet, bright orange football.
“What have you done?” I said,
‘Nothing mummy, it wasn’t me,’ he replied, all wide eyed.
“But you’re the only person in here darling and there’s a blow up football there which you are not allowed to have inside.”
‘I know mummy but I promise it wasn’t me, it just happened – on its own!’
“G, I’m not happy about this and you know I don’t like lying.”
‘I know mummy, but it wasn’t me – anyway don’t get angry and lets just “put it behind us” it won’t happen again.’
Now the thing is G is not a huge liar but he sometimes has a burning self preservational need to get out of things. I’m curious to know more about where the saying that a promise is made to be broken comes from. They often do get broken, either with forethought and intent or with a naivety of a child stumbling through the their first years.
Promises and lies have such a close path, its no wonder that they sometimes cross over with each other.
I surmise and hope that it is as basic urge in some that using the ‘promise’ in whatever form is used as a short term gain rather than anything more sinister.
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