"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness... Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

This quote is by Derrick Jensen from his book Walking on Water. It has got me thinking about the word commitment and what it means. I feel like the idea of commitment in this society is often viewed as a negative thing, as something that weighs on a person rather than frees them. Many of the definitions of the word commitment support this. The first that I come across in the dictionary is "the official act of consigning a person to confinement (as in prison or a mental hospital)". Many of the rest are about being bound. There is one definition that I like more, that is closer to how I would like the word to be used : "the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose". There is another about engaging in a contract. These last two I like because of the words within: sincerity, purpose and engagement. To me these are what commitment is about. Finding something, someone, a place, an idea and not hesitating, but moving toward them steadfastly and with purpose. It is this kind of commitment Jensen speaks of. It is the kind of commitement that school is lacking, that work is often lacking, that even love can be lacking. 

Commitment must be about choice. It must be about purpose, it must being about finding one's way and doing what one is excited about. Another Jensen quote, "People do not need to be taught, they need to be encouraged, to be given heart, to be allowed to grow into their hearts, myself included." It all comes back to the heart. When we open our hearts and follow them we will know what it is we are supposed to do and will be able to proceed boldly. We will be able to commit to the things that we love and care about without hesitation because we will be free to do so. I consider the things that I am committed to at this point in my life: young people, learning, health (of myself, others and the planet), joy, love, connection, writing, communication, authentic expression, peace, openness, caring, people, healing. This list could probably go on. It's funny how once one finds something in one's life to commit oneself to, to be engaged by, that is powerful, that is magic, it becomes easier to proceed.