I belong to some art groups that rely on members committing in advance for projects. Most of them involve a sign up that you are participating. By signing your name, you are agreeing to the terms of the commitment. All of these groups work on time lines so these commitments are essential for them to run smoothly.
I am writing this because I have become frustrated by the lack of a sense of duty in a couple of these groups. Some people have been really lax about honoring their commitment. As a result, a show that had over 25 pieces committed , ended up with under 20. Art trade groups have people who think hit and miss participation is OK.
This all reminds me of the parents who would sign up for cookies or cakes for the PTA fundraiser, or someone who would sign up for the main dish at a potluck and simply didn’t bother once their name was on the dotted line. I always wondered if they thought their obligation was over with once they put their name down. I always wanted to say that not only do you NOT get points for signing up but you get demerits for disappointing people who depended on you.
I think we all know people who are so magnanimous that they make a pledge to PBS, a health care fundraiser or other important charity when they know full well they are not going to ever write the check. It sounds good when they are talking to people to say they pledged. On more than one occasion I’ve asked if they wrote the check. You can imagine how many times I get a shocked blank look in answer.
I feel better having written this. I hope you will think about the follow through and obligation when you put your name on the dotted line for anything. Other people depend on you.