Promise (from Kenshi Yonezu's diary)

I'm going to make note of something I felt.

Recently, I saw a news story online about a middle-school student who was driven to suicide by the abuse of his parents. I wonder if I seem to be seeing a lot of this lately because my eyes unconsciously gravitate toward it. I'm sure there are numerous occurrences that led to this, but one of them appeared to be that his parents beat him "because he didn't keep promises." Ignoring whether that testimony is valid, the word "promise" certainly is convenient. Once both parties form a promise, no matter how irrational it is, it has a tinge of properness (of a sort). No matter how unfair or mean-spirited it is, with the words "you promised," the other person's hands are tied. You can't say a parent and child are equal in certain respects, and when it's a caretaker and one being protected, it's even easier for these things to happen. Intentional or not, if a promise ends up as something which takes advantage of another's weakness, if it's being made as something entirely beneficial to one party, then it's misleading to call that a promise. I think a word like "order" or "notification" would be more accurate. I couldn't help but feel some disgust at the use of the word "promise" in this case.

However, if I knew the full details of this story I found on some corner of the internet, then I'd have no trouble. Not knowing a thing about the situation, I don't want to fruitlessly pursue my own speculation, and I can't even put blame on his parents. For all I know, even misunderstandings could have been at fault. If words are used to cover some kind of skin, then as one who considers himself a handler of words, I want to be attuned to those things within which are being covered up. That's something this incident made me think.

Posted April 3rd, 2016


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