Although he may be like so 2006, I really like Gavin DeGraw – and so, he occasionally comes up on my Pandora station. Just a bit ago the song “Follow Through” came on and, although I’ve heard it a good many times before, today it was profound. Why? Well, let’s explore.
“So, since you wanna be with me
You'll have to follow through
With every word you say
And I, all I really want is you
you to stick around
I'll see you everyday
But you have to follow through
You have to follow through”
This song embodies that something in me that hates flakiness and hot-air. The motto is simple: Do what you say you’re going to do and if you’re not going to do it, don’t say it.” I expect nothing less than follow-though (or at least honestly attempted follow-through) on everything someone says as that’s the mark I strive for. Don’t always make it, but I try to acknowledge the times that I fall short – and make it known that it wasn’t for lack of trying. I’m an advocate for this being a value in everything that we do: with the people we date, at work, with our families & friends, etc…
“Follow though? Mmmkay…On every word I say? Whoa.” I’m gonna argue that this is the general attitude of most of us youngish folks these day. Follow-though is a foreign concept and holding people accountable elicits one of two usual responses: (1) blank stare or (2) anger. I once had someone ask me, what right I had to require that they keep their word. This would have been amusing if it wasn’t so sad. Why has become unreasonable to ask for someone to follow-through? Shouldn’t it be a requirement of anyone who choose to closely interact with – particularly when they’ve chosen you too? It’s simple responsibility…but no one wants to talk about that.
Words are powerful. They mean a lot, they can lift and carry and they wound. Words are real and too often we wield them without thinking about their gravity. We say ‘yes’ when we should be saying ‘no’ or nothing at all; we make plans and promises that we can’t keep and in turn, we disappoint people. For some reason, there’s an idea circulating around out that disappointing people isn’t our problem; that we are someone off-the-hook for the discomfort and/or inconvenience and/or hurt that we cause others. I dunno, maybe it’s from our yuppy, Me-generation, parents telling us how perfect we are – engendering selfish brats. Or maybe its just we’re emotionally lazy and it’s so much easier to divorce ourselves from others than it is to accept responsibility for them, for our words and for our failure to follow-though…
So how about it: Follow through…on every word you say.