Wednesday, February 13, 2008


On a cold January night I was suddenly awakened. I had drifted into a deep sleep on the couch while reading. I did not remember hearing the phone ring at 11:00 pm, but there I was standing with the receiver in my hand visiting with Bruce. Bruce proudly proclaimed he and his wife were new parents to Brent. After gathering my senses, I congratulated him on the birth of his son and thanked Bruce for calling. Bruce quickly acknowledged, "I told you that I would call; I gave you my word."

Yes, Bruce gave his word seven months prior, in a cornfield. When Bruce initially shared the news, that he and his wife were expecting their first child, I asked him if he would call me when the child was born. He replied "yes". No future discussion was necessary, until that January night of Brent's birth. That occasion was one of many where Bruce gave his word once; with no further discussion he fulfilled his promise on time, whether that was hours, weeks, months or years after the giving his word!

Bruce is a man of his word! Are you a man or woman of your word? My grandparents, who welcomed the president of the world's largest seed corn company into their home to discuss business, would often say 'a person is only as good as their word'. What is your worth?

Bruce could have used any number of excuses for not calling or offered no excuse and no phone call. His excuses could have included such things as: he forgot, it was too late for a phone call, he did not know or lost my phone number, he did not believe my request to be serious or I ought not to have believed him in the first place. After all it had been seven months since we had talked about this and not one word of it since that day in the cornfield.

If Bruce had been an attorney, perhaps he could have claimed a signed contract regarding the phone call was non-existent. He was not legally bound to place that call or to keep his word. Still, Bruce understood he had given something more valuable and binding than a document approved by one thousand of the world's top attorney's.
He had given his word.

Fulfilling your word is a matter of being honest with yourself and others. We should be wise and discerning about a situation before we give our word. Once our word is given, we should do everything that is legally, morally, and ethically necessary to deliver on time the promise that was made.

Remember... your word is your worth!