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RJ Dupre Column: Never make promises you can't keep

A friend of mine needed to have a surgery, which would keep her healthy and give her a better quality of life. The problem was the cost of the procedure. Fortunately, a family member volunteered to donate the money for this intervention.

She and her husband were excited and very grateful to their benefactor. The payment was to be processed within the week preceding the surgery. After many calls and signatures, they were ready for the big day. Then, their relative started questioning and floundering about the promise he made. Two days before the delivery of the funds, he backed off from the deal.

They were devastated, and felt toyed and betrayed. My girlfriend had great hopes and was brave enough to go under the knife. She had visualized how improved her health was going to be. Now, she stood among the ruins of a broken dream, empty-handed.

Before volunteering to do anything for anyone, it is advisable to think it through, get organized and make sure all of your ducks are in a row. I do believe that some individuals have good intentions but their aim is lousy at best. Very often people who make unkept promises do it for an egotistic purpose and want to appear magnanimous to others. They also are self-centered and do not realize or care about the emotional consequences on the person they make the commitment to.

After many tears and a broken heart, I advised my dear friend to never accept the help of that individual again; that the Spirit of the Universe will bring her another opportunity down the road. I tried to make her understand that she did not have to pay such a price tag towards this so-called benefactor.

That is why, I have learnt a long time ago to listen to what people do, not what they say.

Whether it is in financial matters or emotional realm, abstain from promising deeds you cannot perform. People will trust you if you back up by action what you tell them. It is the ethical way to live.