Impromptu / Extempore speeches
19. Promises are meant to be broken
Are promises meant to be broken? Well, if that be true, then it must be that lies are what should be kept.
There is this quote from H L Mencken, the American author and humorist.
Lying is not only excusable; it is not only innocent; it is, above all, necessary and unavoidable. Without the ameliorations that it offers, life would become a mere syllogism and hence too metallic to be borne.
Gentlemen, I can understand when one says that hearts are meant to be broken, for it is an essential part of life’s training that makes us resilient towards the travails of life. But then, that is something we do to ourselves, basically, even though, one may accuse another of having broken one’s heart.
But then, my friends, I cannot condone a broken promise. For, promises are powerful strings that connect themselves to an immensity of others, events and many other things. A single promise can spur into action a huge machinery of events, involving a lot of people in many places. Promises are commitments that need to be kept.
But then gentlemen, we are a nation of promise breakers. Even our innate tendency for impunctuality and procrastination, is basically connected to our lack of commitment to our words.
I wonder if any one of you people would say that breaking words is a great feature in a human being. I would say that there is nothing, nothing worthy of learning from a man who breaks his word. I would say that he is a traitor, big or small.
Gentlemen, there are many kinds of promises. There are promises inherent in all relationships, be it between lovers, spouses, boss and staff, the military chief and his subordinates, and so many such.
There are other kinds of promises like that one gives during business deals, or of promising to do something or of being in a particular place at a specific time.
To break your word, doesn’t require great refinement, quality or even character. Even the most base of individuals can do it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would call upon you to emulate the best, and not the worst.
It requires great capacity, character, refinement, fortitude and many other superior attributes to be a man or woman of your word. It may be difficult, but still strive for it.
In the short term, all these qualities may not seem to be of much value, but then, I can assure you that in the long run, a reputation of being honest, committed and an individual of his or her word, can help you much.
For it is these sublime qualities that really run the grand machinery of life in a smooth manner. All others of a contrary character go into ruin.
16. About English!