Across Time and Space explores commitment in relationships in romance, friendship and family relationships. Whether or not it leads to the commitment of, ‘I do’ – commitment is a primal need in relationships for one to feel valued. The protagonist in Across Time and Space has been in a relationship for a length of time, a comfortable, complacency envelopes the relationship creating restlessness that becomes the catalyst for unimagined challenges.
This begs the question, does commitment mean unstinting devotion and loyalty akin to ‘til death do us part?’ The answers are vast and varied depending on the values one has embraced or formed.
Being raised in a time and place which instilled that a promise of commitment meant fulfilment of that promise on a nominated, ceremonial day which comes with its own merits and flaws. This might be considered ‘old world’ or fit for ‘Cinderella and her Prince Charming’, yet the expectation is that couples will unite or commit in a way they deem appropriate to both of them. Yes, the operative word is both – not ‘one’ making a decision, on a whim, that life’s path has beckoned a change for ‘one’ without consideration for how this might impact on the other half of both. Such is the life of the protagonist in Across Time and Space and her partner – good people in their own right who buckle under the fear of commitment, fear for the loss that might be incurred in all that has yet to be achieved in life.
This leads me to why should commitment be feared as the end to individuality and relinquishing of one’s dreams? Commitment should encompass all spheres of one’s life in relationships: singular and joint dreams, commitment to professional ideals and commitment to going off on a whim if its one’s choice to do so by acknowledging that both need to be aware of such changes. Meryl, in Across Time and Space will clarify the choices she makes to catch the star of her destiny that she feared might never be realised in her lifetime.
Commitment can have its dark and dangerous side when passion overrides reason. This brings to mind Catherine and Heathcliffe in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights where both are inextricably and destructively hemmed to each other. Stepping outside literature as we turn on our televisions to the reality of the evening news or an online article on domestic violence which results from unhealthy commitment which is power and control. Supposed commitment, commitment without reason creates a dark, terrible and often tragic situation.
Commitment in family relationships be it as mother, father, grandparent, carer or extended family member should be based on trust, approval, open communication and support from love shared to promote good mental health.
Love, respect and freedom of choices are a right that should not be debated, it’s a basic human right – a human right that should acknowledge commitment to respectful consideration through communication before heading off alone into the sunset.
Commitment to values includes commitment to the values of place, the place we call home – the country- the city- the street- our backyards. It is often those who cannot commit on a personal level who cannot commit to democracy, justice and a fair go.
Reason should always caution passion, dreams should be lived for peace and joy to reign for both halves in any relationship and for all in our choice of place that we call home.
What’s your take on commitment to all things in life? I would love to know your thoughts.