The Pledge

When I first went to Leeds many many years ago I heard about The Pledge, which was to be made by anyone who decided that for the rest of their lives they would abstain from alcohol.

That kind of commitment was dropping out of fashion in the 60s, when allegiance to Government and or God was associated with going to war, and subservience, a ‘do what you want’ kind of freedom was emerging.

Perhaps, in these troubled times, there is a  renewal of the idea of making a pledge. So, the construction industry is trying to get its members to agree to pledge to take on 2% of its workforce as technical and professional internships.

You may also have heard of the idea of getting the wealthiest in the world to pledge a good proportion of their wealth to the future benefit of mankind.

NewsCorp seem to be heading in the opposite direction in dropping their pledge as part of their attempt to buy more  of BSkyB.

I guess the essence of the pledge is the broad terms of understanding it suggests. It moves commitment away from petty legality to full moral backing for something, a proposed WILL to do what is being said in the pledge.

Thinking about how we are encouraging people to be more green, to consume less, to offer more to others and keep less for ourselves, to be more self reliant as part of a resilient community, I wonder if we have focused too much on the detail and not enough on the pledge.

I wonder if we need everyone, individuals, companies, all people for their personal and professional lives, to pledge to honour the planet. I think we need Nelson Mandela to come up with the wording of such a pledge, but maybe you could pass this request on to him, or someone else, or maybe have a go yourself. If we are to pledge to honour the planet, what would that pledge sound like?

All comments welcome.



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