Believe it or not, I'm sitting hospital bedside, 72 hours since I emerged from surgery at Saint Vincent's Infirmary, as apart of completing my reconstructive hip procedure that I began back in December 2006. Some say that I'm a real trooper, other's can't define it and then there are those who think I'm loosing my mind. However, the real source from which this type of "show must go on" attitude derives from my foundation in commitment, an attribute that many are not taking very seriously these days. Daily I continue to get more alarmed at the meager levels of commitment that are offered, ranging from business associates to friendships. Being committed is "not a wish I may or wish I might not" fancy, but rather part of the character building blocks to which you should be seeking to solidify your reputation. Professionally, staying committed plays a significant role in my networking efforts, ultimately allowing me to adequately service clients, resulting not only in financial profits, but also earning rewards of personal satisfaction. This should also hold true in our friendships and interpersonal relationships as well, especially since "lip service" to commitments is rampant and has become openly acceptable for a large majority of society. I remember mother's old adage that "you've got to stand for something or nothing at all," and this sage advice is slowly slipping away, while being surplused with a host of conveinent excuses or lackluster attempts to live up to one's word. The severity of this problem became evident to me in a conversation with a local community member who was exasperated at the rambling, meandering, waffling and flip-flopping from gay business prospects. The angnst went further as the need for "additional information vs. who else is being considered," was a ongoing roadblock. I concured that this area has progressed slowly because concepts and ideas are not easily adapted by local citizens. Furthermore, Central Arkansas has always been a transient hub with talented individuals moving here, observing the stymied local color and pressing on to the next major metro area with the hopes of finding a more fullfilling life. This ongoing exodus has impacted this community across the board and there seems to be no remedy. One such individual told me that he was moving for economic reasons, plus he felt that there was no real community to speak of. He further expounded that he tired of the hidden agendas, convoluted mindsets and above all "the overall lack of commitment." As my partner and myself socialize, I'm dazed at the stories and accounts that I hear from folks longing for what they title "what you guys have..a long term relationship." But achieving a relationship of that level takes what..."commitment!" Those couples with "three week anniversaries," or promise rings at 6 months are usually no longer involved the next time I meet them. Thusly, the proverbial catchall phrases are activated. When I ask what went wrong, "it's all about what the other person did, or I didn't really know them or I needed to move on to greener pastures." I recollect living in San Francisco in the early 80's and it was there that I learned to understand the meaning of true friendship. I realize that our lives are often frenzied filled days of meetings, making a living or taking care of business, but the young men that befriended me their taught me the importance of being a friend and how fragile those relationship can be. Unfortuantely, many of those persons have died, but the lessons learned have directly affected my life to this day. There's not a day that I don't think about both the good times and growing times when you learn what type of friendship you've developed or the foundation it creates for you later in life. If those men were still alive today most likely they would be here with me bedside, sharing concern, old stories and demonstrating what it takes in life...a lot of commitment.