An Abstract Word

Image courtesy of compactofmayors.org

Image courtesy of compactofmayors.org

Tylyn Johnson, Chief Editor

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“Commitment” is a very abstract term. And yet, it is something we deal with regularly. From the commitment to keep hope alive, to the commitment of not procrastinating on homework. To understand what “commitment” truly is, we interpret it, consider the qualities that make it up, and the levels of “commitment.”

Interestingly enough, there are literally at least 8 different definitions for the word “commitment.” Even more if one counts the many interpretations of the word! One of the many definitions the Oxford Dictionary has for it is: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. Meanwhile, the Merriam-Webster also denotes the word “commitment” as: The attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something

Analogically, commitment is like ramen, because one only needs three ingredients, to make up commitment. Ironically, these qualities are also abstractions.

  1. One quality would have to be “Ambition,” sticking with something until the desired result is attained. Historically, one could observe that in the form of the grand empires built by numerous leaders, such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. 
  2. “Sacrifice” could be considered the most important quality, where even if one is giving up everything for it; money, time, sanity, they will see it through to the end. Just look at many former and current IB students. These scholars have given up many things to see their academic opportunity through.
  3. “Respect” is the final component of  “commitment.” Not quitting is arguably one of the greatest signs of respect one could show anyone, including oneself. This is one of the main ways people define one’s character, if one can actually keep one’s word.

These same qualities are the same criteria by which we can judge the intensity of one’s commitment by. And for the purposes of this article, the IB grading scale will be used as the measure.

  • From a one to three, one has basic participation, if at all.

O’Day once said something along the lines of “Many high school students don’t take high school seriously until they get to senior year. By then, it’s already too late to try and be noteworthy in high school.”

  • At scores of three to six, it’s a promise to work for, or with, whatever you promised.

For nineties anime fans, this is also demonstrated in Rurouni Kenshin, or Samurai X. The ironically pacifistic main character, Kenshin Himura, made a vow to never kill again. And even when he had to fight to proetct his “Dojo Family,” he never took another’s life.

  • And then from six to eight, it almost amounts to “Do or Die.” Here, one is willing to sacrifice everything to see this commitment through.

One could turn back the history pages again and see how far the American Revolutionaries were willing to go to seek liberation from a king that they viewed as tyrannical.

Image courtesy of apstudent.com

Ultimately, one should get to know the interpretations, qualities, and intensities of “commitment” in order to fully grasp the extent to which this word has found importance in society. With this writer’s commitment to this article complete, it is time for the reader to commit to their passions. Paint a mural, build a homeless shelter, do something! Just don’t make a commitment you can’t keep.

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