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I broke the promise
Why people break promises. What can be done.
NOTE: I’m writing every day in memory of Lisa, who died on October 13. Not all of these posts will be sent out by email, and some I may write from jail/prison, as I go to trial on November 29. So if you want to follow this journey, visit the blog every day. I’ll try to post by 10 am each day, but occasionally, I’m sure a post will be late.
I messed up.
I woke up with a shudder just now, and instantly realized I had done something wrong. It took a moment for my brain to search the possibilities and conclude that I had not blogged on November 22.
The promise wasn’t broken from malice. I made it in good faith, and I fully intended to keep it.
The promise wasn’t broken (entirely) from laziness. I’ve been working pretty much every waking hour, as trial approaches in just a few days.
Like many promises, it was broken from inattention. I got a frustrating call late in the evening, when I’m usually thinking about my commitments for the day, that distracted me from my normal ritual. And between the turkey rescue in the morning, travel, and other meetings during the day, I just lost sight of what I had promised Lisa.
That doesn’t make things better, of course. The promise was still broken. And I feel ashamed by that. But in thinking about ways I can make up for that broken promise, one thing rises above all others: I need to finish my book.
I have an offer from a publisher to pitch them on a part-activism-guide, part-memoir that would use my various adventures over the past 40 years to shed some insight into how movements are built, and how change happens. I’ve mostly ignored this opportunity since receiving it because of the urgency of the moment. But it’s time for me to take it up again.
So my new promise, to rehabilitate the one I broke, is this: I’ll finish a draft of the book by the end of 2022.
I’m sorry, Lisa. Your memory is so important to me. And in breaking the promise, I think I lost a little bit of that memory. I never want to do that again.