The Promise To The One – Photo by John DeMato


The Vice President had an extra black fly in his extra white hair during the debate.  The fly became famous while no one could hear what the VP had to say, so distracting was the insect;

The dog hesitated coming in the house, knowing she had an issue beneath her tail.  Encouraged enough by her unsuspecting yet doting parents to come in, she ran up the steps, leaped on the couch, across the carpet, raced to the bedroom, and sat on the pillow…only to leave behind a streak of poop throughout the home;

The Zoom call was going well, every “Brady Bunch style” video tile filled with engaged co-workers having a great meeting, when suddenly an attendee is clearly seen walking from one room to another, unfortunately straight into the restroom.  Setting the camera in front of herself on the ground, assuming her video is off, she proceeds to go the bathroom in full view of her horrified peers.


How aware are you when the fly lands on your head, dog drags in a fresh tootsie roll, or the Zoom call captures your most private moments?

There is only so much we can do to be aware of everything, but consider your promise to yourself to be aware of what is happening around you – either to yourself or to others.

Perhaps it’s being/having the kind of friend who runs to your aid regarding that piece of salad stuck in your teeth before one more humiliating conversation;

Or the kind of driver that conscientiously scoots all the way over when making a right hand turn to allow traffic a continuous flow, instead of camping in the driving lane, making every car behind to slam on their brakes as a wide, slow, thoughtless right turn is made;

Consider the checkout clerk who has one line building as the other clerk lallygags about, finally opening up their lane only to have back of the line people rushing over, when clerk could have controlled the patiently waiting, yet seething unfair customer situation by calling over the “next in line”!


2 weeks ago, my sons and I spent over 3 hours raking and shoveling leaves.  We have so many leaves we use snow shovels in a snowless winter that this has so sadly been in a traditionally snowy place.

We filled 6 contractor-sized black garbage sacks with leaves.  You would think we live in Vermont or Canada we had so many leaves, even when we only have 2 naked trees.

We live in a vortex of leaf collection due to the school field in front of our home, which funnels everything up our driveway from leaves to school yard candy wrappers, COVID masks, and even schoolwork.  In fact, Little Johnny, our neighbor, got a 5 out of 10 on his last spelling test.  I passed him in my car recently, rolled down my window, and told him “i before e except after c…most of the time.”   He looked at me with the kind of look that says, “How did he know?”

As I sat on my porch last week writing in my Journal about awareness of my life and actions, I watched my neighbors on both sides of our home (neighbors we love and whom we are so grateful are our friends), as they used a blower to move all of the leaves from their yards…into the street.  I noticed a Cheetos bag blowing from one, and an empty Gatorade bottle from the other, collected among the leaves.

Today I walked around my yard, only to find 3 more contractor-sized garbage bags worth of leaves to be filled in my once empty yard yet again…my trees barren for months on our property…and there mixed in a Cheetos bag and Gatorade bottle for my sons and I to pick up.  Out came the snow shovels as we spent an hour picking up leaves not from our trees or yard, but from the street and other people’s lack of bagging.

I’m sure I deserve this…perhaps I wasn’t aware of how much noise our family makes late at night playing games through quarantine while the neighbors are trying to put their kids to bed?


Are you making a mess for others in your work?

Are you cutting corners others will have to pick up?

Are you aware of what you’re doing, when you’ve skimmed the email and re-asking the question already carefully answered in an overly crafted message?

Are you thinking of others or only thinking of self? 

Are you able to catch everything every single time?  Not possible.  Sometimes there’s a fly in your hair and no one can hear your message; once in a while the dog will run in with a poopie tail; and yes, you may even relieve yourself on a broadcasted Zoom call.

But hopefully, as we fall under the all seeing eye of observation, be it social media, our work as performers, or in the community, we can be the kind of person who promises ourselves to think of others first, to point out when something is morally and ethically wrong, and stand for something when it is called for.

Mostly, to just be aware of the good we are creating or the mess for others we are causing.

That is The Promise. 

Here is Your Promise Prompt This Week:

Take note in your Journal or Calendar of 2 instances you were extremely aware each day –

1 time for SELF

1 time for OTHERS

Write out how it affected you and them, the outcome, the power of you keeping The Promise.  

Comment below what you did even for one day and I will send you a link to one of my video book chapters that no one has access to.

~ jason


Promise Institute Founder * Virtual Keynote Speaker * Speaker Hall of Fame

Author of “The Promise To The One”



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10 thoughts on “Awareness”

  1. Thanks for the message today Jason, thought it was great. And the “i before e except after c…most of the time.” comment had me rolling laughing!!!

  2. Noticing what’s going on around you is a matter of just getting out of your own world.

    We were coming out of a store that sold things for the home a few days ago. The couple next to us was struggling to get a cabinet they had purchased into their car that was way too small to fit the cabinet.

    We asked them if we could help and they said they would figure it out. We had a large car and asked them where they were headed. We told them that we were going right by there and made the offer to transport the cabinet for them.

    They were hesitant (I guess we could have been thieves) or in disbelief and when I introduced myself and have them my card, they gratefully accepted.

    It would have been easy for us just to drive off. It helped us more to help them than it helped them for us to transport the cabinet.

  3. My sister will be having surgery soon. She lives alone so I made
    freezer meals for her. All she has to do is put it in the crockpot.

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