#69 – Flee a pledge (Εγγυην φευγε)

Like the Maxim that counsels us “Do not use an Oath”, this one does not tell us to ignore a pledge once it is made. It does advise us to avoid making a pledge when one is not necessary. Either do something or do not do it. A pledge is a promise; and therefore something that is an overused part of our culture. And apparently that was also the case in ancient times or this Maxim would not be needed.
We are enjoined to “flee” from making a pledge, not fulfilling it because a promise is something that borders on the sacred. The Gods watch us and if we do not keep our pledges then they can punish us for the crime. But, if we do not make any promise that we do not then keep we can avoid this fault within ourselves. This is often easier said than done in our society, but the basic core value of honesty comes into play when you refuse to make unnecessary promises. And this is what I feel to be the heart of this Maxim, like so many others.

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