My word is my bond: “Dictum Meum Pactum!”
Meaning, that by just giving my word you can be assured that the promise of action I have just made will be kept.
Originating from the London Stock Exchange since the early 1800s where financial bargains and trades were made with no written pledges, no documents, and no contracts. Reputation was collateral in 19th Century England. Trust was built up and your bank of trust guaranteed you trading opportunities.
Sometimes, a nod of the head — like auctioneer accepts from the winning bidder or a handshake can signify a similar transaction — but the paperwork nearly always follows with a contract of sale.
Almost everything these days is governed by paperwork and by contract. Your telephone, your electricity supply and your marriage are all governed by contract. Your work, your health service — everything tied up with paper — and red tape.
One common denominator here is that contracts/promises can be broken — by either side — the other party then sues for breach of contract without too much damage to personal reputation and a “misunderstanding on your credit score.”
Does the act of promising hold up to scrutiny in our daily lives anymore without the almost inevitable back up of a contract?
Governments promise us all things, and when they fail to deliver well enough, we fail to re-elect them. Does the fact that they are elected enter us into a contract with them?
When you lend a friend some money is one example I can think of where reputation comes into play — most of us do not get bitten more than once on that score.
Handfasting is another occasion where the participants words are their bond — as there is no contract to back it up and why they are not considered equal to marriage unless they are accompanied by a civil contract.
Being a godparent is another relationship that is based on promise and trust.
So is blogging as part of a team like we do here — we are all trusted to write what we can when we can — one side of the bargain is that we write; the other side is that we get published and enjoy the success of writing on this blog.
The other question about this that is bugging me is — was it breakdown in trust that destroyed the concept of my word is my bond and the contract was bought into place to cover that — or was it contracts and use of contracts that destroyed our sense of trust?