I remember going to see a movie in the early 90’s about a self-proclaimed “promoter” who sought to start an R&B group in Ireland but could only recruit fellow Irishmen. In spite of not being the traditional R&B group, the small band was successful because R&B was so wanted in that area. The name of movie and the band? The Commitments.” 

    I’ve never thought about the choice of that name till today. It took a lot of commitment to bring an unpopular genre to a country, but it takes even more commitment to sing R&B! The music itself requires soul-bearing and complete trust in your voice to move people. 

    One more random thought: why do we say when we make the hard decision to put a person in a mental health institute that we are “committing” them? I think it’s because we are committing to full-time concentration on helping the person, even if the full-time is given by some other entity.

     So, from these related ideas, one can assume that commitment requires full participation.  As I creak and groan while walking, I can without a blink say that I am committed. My family taught me that a commitment means I give my very best effort to the event or cause, and I do. This leads to long hours and stiff body parts from exertion, but the results are always good and well-worth it. Often people will express that they don’t know how I do so much, and I am always quick to point out my reliance on Christ for strength and direction. Few, however, want to give what it takes to get the results my family and I do, though.

     What should we consider before making a commitment? I don’t know that all people understand the requirements of a commitment. I run into students daily who make “commitments,” and then stop a little bit in. Better than any scolding or consequence I’ve ever given is the role model older students are. When kids see other kids making and keeping commitments well, they tend to step up.

     As parents of gifted kids, then, I guess my advice before okaying your child’s opportunity is to talk about your expectations for their commitment level and to make sure your child has youth role models in sight.