Fear of Commitment – Redeaux

This is a rework of a previous speech. I delivered this talk for today’s Early Risers Toastmasters club speech contest. I changed the middle by replacing the work context with a general life context.

My evaluator pointed out one area of needed improvement: I should relate the closing to my own life. I agree with her. Of course, I’ll have to trim something out of the middle or talk faster to stay within the time limit.

Fear of Commitment, Power of Commitment

A pig and a chicken are walking down the road when they come upon a church where a revival is going on.

And they went inside.

Any of you been to a revival? It’s been a long time for me. Not since I was little bitty and my Grandmother would take me.

Pig and chicken were moved, overcome by the spirit.

Pig says, "I want to contribute something."

"Me, too!", says Chicken. "Me, too! Let’s contribute some ham and eggs".

"That’s fine for you", says pig. "For you, it’s just a contribution. But for me, IT’S A COMMITMENT!"

People fear commitment no less than that pig. Ohhh, god! They fear it like death itself.

I asked myself, Why’s that?

I’ll tell you why! ‘Cause people are not like pig here.

Noooo. People are basically weasels.

Consider all the people you know who spend time & energy justifying a long trail of broken commitments.

They have elaborate stories, worthy of novels – complete with intricate plots and subplots within subplots, filled with nefarious characters…

But all their stories boil down to little more than "The dog ate my homework".

They are victims of a homework eating dog. Victims of circumstance.

Here’s the irony of it…

We avoid commitment which leads us to be victims of circumstance.

But, as it turns out, power over circumstance lives inside commitment which we avoid.

If power over circumstance lives inside commitment, where does commitment live?

Well, it doesn’t live in your head. That’s where the weasel lives.

You know. The inner voice. The one that talks you OUT of sticking with your commitments.


The good new is that commitment lives.

It lives ‘out there’.

Commitment is nothing more than living up to the agreements you make with someone else.

It’s that simple.

Simple but not easy.

See, agreement is made between two people.

You. And someone else.

People, remember, are basically weasels.

You ever see a weasel? They are nasty!

When you grab a weasel and they bite, scratch, squirm and spit something awful.

But no one said it was easy.

In the words of the late Dr. King,

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Here’s a man who knew challenge and controversy.

And he understood the power over circumstance that lives in commitment.

He was committed that all men, women and children, both alive and yet to be born, would enjoy the same rights, liberties and opportunities.

His commitment to millions of Americans.

And there were people who confronted him in both challenge and controversy.

And he stood firm.

Here’s a tip to help you stand firm inside your commitment.

Something that works for me.

Choose out five or six people who inspire you.

Learn about them, their lives, the challenges and controversies they faced.

In the dark moments of weakness, call upon them.

Bring their living memories to stand beside you.

Draw upon their inspiration to give you strength, and courage, and resolve.

And take claim to power over circumstance in your life.