The snarky lady in me wants to say this Maxim is telling us not to join fraternities or sororities. Or maybe that we should not date freshman pledging into the Greek system. I’m no fan of the Greek system, but I don’t think this Maxim is about our modern social networks.
I think it’s a reminder that if we need to pledge something we might want to think twice – or flee from the obligation. Do we need to make a promise? Pledge money? This reminds me of how when my family was more financially flush we would donate to many causes and organizations. Now that we have no money to spare and cannot donate to such a wide variety of causes, we remain hounded by many organizations and a little bit harassed by the callers who won’t take “we can’t give right now” for an answer.
Maybe we should have fleed from pledging in the first place?
Ultimately I don’t think so, because I believe in generosity when times are good. But scrutinizing what is required of a pledge, a commitment, an obligation is very important. What are the longer term consequences of this pledge? What is being asked of me? Can I follow through?
If there’s one thing I find consistent throughout these Maxims, ancient pagan values, and modern Pagan values it is this: that our word is of tantamount importance. Nothing is of more honor than our integrity. There is a strong tendency toward flakiness in the communities that I run in, especially for those that tend toward the hippie side of things. Yet I take people at their word: yes means yes and no means no. I value the commitments that are made. Let us think twice about the pledges we make.