Broken Promises

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photo(11)When I was in high school, I had a friend who told me, “Promise me that we’ll always keep in touch.”
My answer was pretty blunt and frank,” I don’t make promises.”
I think she got pissed off but I told her not to take it personally, it was a general rule I didn’t break back then. I didn’t make promises in fear of one day having to break them. And I’m glad I didn’t promise her because we grew up and grew apart, and oh well, that’s life.

It’s amazing the effect that broken promises have on children. Some grow up to believe that promises are made to be broken,while others grow up with such personal rules; not making promises lest they have to break them. It’s like they may have adults around them telling them, “We will,” and “okay, insha’Allah,” and “I promise you that…”

Then nothing materializes, and the adult hopes that the child forgets, when sometimes the child doesn’t really forget, but they find themselves continuously  in a series of daydreams taking pictures with mickeymouse by their side because of the parent’s promise to take them to DisneyLand. Then when it doesn’t happen, the disappointment is so immense that they turn into teenagers and stop trusting their parents or other adults in their lives.

But then again broken promises don’t end at childhood. They continue well towards young adulthood, especially when guys promise girls they’ll marry them only to bolt out the door at the closest exit sign, thinking that the girls should have seen it coming anyway. Then if asked, “why did you make such a promise?” They would justify it by saying, “I was just telling her what she wanted to hear.”

Then they grow up, and get married, and the spouse promises to love, cherish and never cheat, yet they end up getting the shock of their lives when the vows get thrown into the garbage disposer because situations have changed, and they end up going their separate ways.

So basically, situations might change and people tend to break promises, because they make the promise at a mindset that is different from the mindset at which the promise is broken. So sometimes the best thing that somebody can do for you is not make you a promise. They’re guarding your heart from future pain and disappointment because they know that situations might change, and breaking the promise would be inevitable, so they’d rather not make it. They’re not really being cynical but realistic (but don’t all cynics say that anyway?). Especially when they have a lifetime experience of broken promises and having to carry the broken wings of a fallen bird called Hope, trying to nurse it into health only to discover that it was actually dead.

  • Hadeeth of the Day
  • Narrated by Ibn Aamir: My mother called me once, whilst the Prophet (peace be upon him)
    was at our home and she said, “Come here, I will give you something.”  Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon
    him) asked,  “What did you want to give to him?”  She replied, “Dates.”  The Prophet then
    said, “Had you not given him anything, it would have been recorded as a lie.”
    دعتْني أُمي يومًا ورسولُ اللهِ صلى اللهُ عليه وسلم قاعدٌ في بيتِنا
    فقالتْ: ها تعالَ أُعطيكَ فقال لها رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ وما أردتِ أنْ تعطيهِ ؟
    قالتْ : أُعطيهِ تمرًا، فقال لها رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ :
    أما إنك لو لمْ تُعطيهِ شيئًا كُتبتْ عليكِ كَذِبةٌ
    الراوي: عبدالله بن عامر بن ربيعة المحدث:الألباني –
    المصدر: صحيح أبي داود – الصفحة أو الرقم: 4991
    خلاصة حكم المحدث: حسن

8 thoughts on “Broken Promises

    crankycaregiver said:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

    It’s not that I don’t make promises…I just don’t make a promise that I know I can’t keep. But, broken promises to children are heartbreaking and should always be avoided at all costs.

      AH responded:
      March 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      It’s true. The effects last way beyond childhood. Thanks for dropping by

    supriya said:
    March 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I also think this way. It’s better not to make a promise then make one and break it.
    I use to say whenever I need to make promise I will try my best 🙂

      AH responded:
      March 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Yeah, that’s good enough. As long as the other person knows u tried ur best. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

    Maryam said:
    March 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Assalamu ‘alaykum! This post is really making me think. All I can say is “Thank you very much!”. Jazakillahu Khayran ukhti! 🙂
    I’ve always had this question lingering in my mind, “Why do people break promises?”. And, subhanAllah, the answer is so obvious and simple but it had never occurred to me before! And, you’ve so easily stated it up there: “……people tend to break promises, because they make the promise at a mindset that is different from the mindset at which the promise is broken…” Wow!

      AH responded:
      March 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Waaleikum assalam. I’m glad I could help u figure it out 🙂 Thanks for dropping by

    Keep Your Resolutions This Time | A Heart's Echoes said:
    January 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    […] resolution is like a promise you make to yourself, and as mentioned in “Broken Promises” the reason many promises find themselves broken is because they are made with a mindset […]

    Ramblings of the heart « A Heart's Echoes said:
    April 17, 2015 at 3:57 am

    […] That’s the main reason why I don’t value the idea of promises much. I don’t make them, and don’t expect to receive them. How can you make a promise when there’s so much uncertainty in life? Uncertainty gives birth to worry and worry is not healthy. I would know because I’m a chronic worrier and I’ve had to collect techniques through my life to deal with it. […]

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