If you make a commitment, keep it. That’s the principle behind Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 5:5, “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” Keeping commitments is usually slowed by difficult circumstances, but few have faced more dire obstacles than Theodore Roosevelt.
On October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt had committed to make a speech in Wisconsin. On his way to the Milwaukee Auditorium, as he entered his car, Roosevelt was shot in the chest with a .32 caliber Colt revolver. Once in the car, the former president put his hand in his coat and discovered a dime-sized hole in his chest.
As you might expect, he ended up in the hospital. But you’d probably be shocked to hear that he ended up in the hospital… after he made his speech. Despite the opinion of his aides and doctors, Roosevelt insisted he be delivered to fulfill his commitment.
At the start of his speech, he unbuttoned his shirt to show his blood stained shirt. He then said “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose… the bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.” Colonel Roosevelt went on to speak for 90 minutes.
Here’s what I took away from that story – If you make a commitment, keep it, even if you’ve been shot.