Mum and seven year old daughter walking home from school. Daughter is twisting and twirling, repeatedly jumping up and around. Suddenly seven year old stops and announces proudly, I’ve done one! They walk on. Later mum asks, What was that all about, you saying about have ‘done one’? Child somewhat surprised replied, I did a good turn. I promised at the Brownies that I’d do a good turn every day! Apparently the child was somewhat put off when she found out what doing a good turn actually involved.
We learn at an early age about making promises and sometimes we don’t quite appreciate what it is we are promising to do, or not do. As with the twirling child. I still remember the Girl Guide Threefold Promise. The preamble goes: I promise on my honour to do my best to do my duty… In many ways this is old fashioned sounding stuff. There is however a ring there, a ring of intention. Goodness! I promise on my honour! And duty! Not sentiments that come readily now, perhaps. Number two Girl Guide promise was to help other people at all times. I believe there was an innocent simplicity within childhood promises, to help other people or to do a good turn – and the private ones which nobody knew about. And I believe that simplicity of wish/intention remains within each of us. Yes we fall down on our vows and promises, be they lofty or mundane ones, however it seems we do keep on getting up, turning around and walking on.
Thanks to Karen and Linda for inspiring this post.