Marla Lowder

Marla Lowder

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” — Kenneth Blanchard

Those who are committed are the ones you want to have around you for they will get things done. There is the saying, “If you need something done ask a busy person.” That is true to a point. There are people who are doing way too much and they can get things done, but what is the quality of their work? Sometimes it’s best to find the people who know where to draw the line at commitment. They know their limits and when they say “yes,” you know it will get done and done with commitment.

Now stop and think of yourself or someone else you know who does a lot. How does the quote above fit? I know I have seen a few people, youth and adults, over the years that this quote describes. They want to do multiple things, but when it comes down to it there are things that they love more than others and that is where the commitment goes and that’s okay. It is about choices and we must make them. But it’s disappointing when they back out of an activity that they said they would do.

We must teach our youth, our family and friends the need to follow through with their commitment. I see people saying they will do something and then when it is time they have an opportunity to do something different or just don’t want to do what they said they would do, so they don’t do it. Now I get the family emergency, illness or that some youth are at the mercy of their parents’ schedules when trips have been planned. These things can’t be helped. But when people decide they just don’t want to do something after they said they would just isn’t right. I have seen individuals who wanted to go to the movies with their friends at the last minute and don’t go do the service project that they said they would help with.

In a book called “Cowboy Ethics,” James P. Owen talks about the 10 principles of the “Code of the West.” The sixth principle is, “When you make a promise, keep it.” In the West, when cowboys shook hands on a deal, that was their contract. These are things we need to help the generation of today understand — that your word is an agreement/contract. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t use idle words or show an “interest.” It is a verbal contract and you are now committed to it and you don’t just blow it off because something better comes along.

Let’s help our future by helping to teach this generation to be committed and to follow through with what they said they would do to all they agree to do.

4-H is a youth organization for youth K-12 that helps youth learn about certain items of interest to them, but also teaches them life skills. 4-H has a club structure with leaders who are adult volunteers with current background checks. To learn more about the local program, contact Marla Lowder, Tanana District 4-H agent, at 474-2427. You can also check out our web page at 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.