Thursday, January 25, 2018

Make Good on a Promise? Preposterous!

On July 23, 2006, the Washington Times reported: "In a world of broken promises, Paul Staso is a man of his word." It was an article about my solo run across America to keep a promise I had made to 96 elementary children. The writing about me ended with the words: "Make good on a promise? Preposterous!"

I think that most people I encountered on the 15-state run looked at what I was doing as "preposterous" -- including running all alone across the country, pushing all of my gear in a yellow stroller, and enduring 30 miles every day simply to keep my word to some kids. Most people were supportive and encouraging, but that doesn't mean they weren't silently thinking 'This guy is nuts!'

I'm very careful about the promises I make. In fact, I believe I'm more careful now than I used to be. In my view, keeping a promise says something about one's integrity. I believe that integrity is not a single action, but a series of actions -- a reputation for consistency that builds slowly over time. My keeping a promise to 96 elementary kids in 2006 at the age of 41 didn't make me an integritous person. However, it did contribute to a collection of actions in my life toward integrity.

Everyone stumbles and falls and as hard as they try, sometimes they can't fulfill every promise made. Sometimes external factors -- outside of the person's control -- cause a promise to go unfulfilled. Regardless, I believe that promises and integrity go hand in hand. It was truly a blessing to be able to fulfill my promise to those 96 elementary students in 2006. All of them are now in their 20's and are blazing their paths in life as adults. I hope that somewhere in their memory is the guy who ran coast-to-coast with a jogging stroller simply to keep his word to them. It wasn't done for fame or fortune (neither of which occurred). It was simply to make good on a promise. Preposterous!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso