The Promise

There is a philosopher in me, and it should not come as a surprise. I am an idealist and would die for a good romance. The basics of philosophy highlight the emotional self-awareness – the philosophical movement of romanticism. Although it opposes the rationalization derived from sciences to explain nature, such notion is seemingly fading. Today, philosophy integrates all schools of reasoning and you know… philosophise!

The Promise

This book “The Promise” is not about the love pledge or vow from one lover to another. It is written by C. Wright Mills who coined the term “Sociological Imagination”. It is an attempt to explain the linkages between individuals to the broader environment – the society. I came to this extracted topic not by chance but by requirement – studies. This is not a review of the article, I have submitted my contribution of my reviews to my unit tutorial session.

His Promise

Often times, a promise made to us is an opportunity to hold someone ransom. I just said I am a romantic, but why am I dissecting a romantic gesture into pieces? Well, there is also a psychologist in me. Worry not, they don’t really fight; if anything, they help to maintain some form of balance.

I hold promise very dear to my heart. My favourite quote of promise is:

“A promise made is a debt unpaid.” by Robert W. Service.

This quote resonate with me fully, because if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It is a commitment waiting to be delivered. It is a debt waiting to be paid. It is a chip that we handed to someone to gain something in return. We make a promise, and if someone buys it based on the promise, we gain the trust of this person; this person holds the chip waiting to cash out someday.

I don’t think people realise the integrity and sacredness of the word ‘Promise’. It is so sacred that it is the very fundamental basis of a wedding vow. Sadly, most of us perceive a promise with a flippant attitude, and exploit the meaning of such commitment to other people.

Till Lies Do Us Part

Till death do us part seems too far-fetched for modern human creatures. More than often, we don’t part at death, we part at lies. Did I dishonour the promise because I choose to part before death upon us when lies have tarnished the meaning of the original promise?

Now, is my personal tragedy a private matter? Or is it a public issue? This is where sociological imagination comes into play. Is his breaking his promise to me caused by personal tragedy? Or is the personal tragedy caused by a public issue? So, if it is indeed a public issued-driven personal tragedy that caused the promise to be dishonored, then, what about me? Now that I am left totally broken up, is my personal tragedy a private matter? Or are many people going through the similar tragedy as I – which would make it a public issue?


It is possible that we can easily overgeneralise everything. Where do we draw the line then? Should a promise between a couple be put in a larger public frame, or should it stay in a privately owned frame?

Personal Responsibility

Can we simply account a broken promise to personal responsibility? After all, it’s a promise he made to me, it’s pretty personal to me. What happens if there has been a war (size of the war doesn’t matter)? He has a duty to fight this war and as a result I am left to fend for myself. His promise to me is not yet broken when he returns home, even though with a broken spirit. His promise is broken when he comes home, but not to me. For many different reasons, he doesn’t think he could keep the promise that is made to me anymore, but he is starting anew without informing me, with someone else. Does a promise holds a secret expiry date? I think not, until a promise is explicitly broken, it is still intact.

My Promise

Now, we would want love to be reciprocal. I don’t really care how you define love, I define it as a reciprocal of affection in the first order. When love doesn’t reciprocate anymore, do I reciprocate the broken promise with my broken promise? I guess the context of the promise would make all the difference.

Then, comes the discrepancy between the perceived ‘public issue’ vs ‘private affair’. He may think his personal tragedy is a public issue and I may think my personal tragedy suffered by his broken promise to be a private one.

Doing Our Best

This is definitely a trap, a sabotage. Doing our best is not good enough, doing exactly what we say we would, is the only way. By saying that we will do our best is like the get-out-of-prison card, a leeway we secretly and safely tuck in our safe. When do we do our best? Pass the exams. That, we do our best. What don’t we do our best? Study for exam. We don’t do our best to study for exams, we just study for exams, period.

The same goes to staying loyal to our partner when we vowed to do so. We just stay loyal, period, there is no trying to do our best to stay loyal.

The Exception

Sadly, the only exception that a promise can be allowed to be broken is death. Or even that is debatable. Strictly speaking, unless the promise is to be by a person side forever, death doesn’t always break the promise automatically. Now, does not fulfilling a promise means broken promise? Or is a promise only broken upon betrayal – an action that completely opposes the original promise, e.g. will never abandon you, but abandons you anyway, will never cheat on you, but cheats on you anyway etc.

Just Stress

There is no particular reason for this blog entry, I am in the middle of a strange transition from being an afternoon person to reverting back to being a morning person. I have always been an 8 to10 hours/sleep person and I am losing my ‘sleepability’ aka having trouble sleeping. Many things are piling up from tiny to major items.

Financially, my home bank has locked me out of my bank account since early March, and I am talking to the bank more frequently than I talk to my mother or anyone combined in weeks. My funds are depleting and I still have no access to my funding source.

In the school department, I have formed some sort of routine and regime to effectively cope with the 3 units. I am finding Singapore’s way of teaching more effective (for me, because I cannot deal with fragmented sessions) because the lecture and tutorial are usually on the same day. I don’t do split sessions very well, it translates into different people, different venues, different times and different tutors. An hour a day on different days is the same as one whole day of recovery for me, then I have very little time left to read or work on tasks. I need a regimented routine so that I can manage my time, energy and efforts. I am also doing the most draining unit – statistics – so it consumes a major share of my energy away.

In the personal life department, I am shutting down on facebook because it is a difficult place to be in when a major part of my mental strength is used to combat the evil forces of numbers. I simply cannot deal with any drama now. There is a big part of my emotional composure that has been shredded, and facebook is where traceable tracks can be found. For now, I just want to deal with the tasks on hands and the upcoming assessments.

Blogging is easier. It’s like throwing everything into the void.


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