Are you involved or committed?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Todd Bean
  • 374th Maintenance Operations Squadron
One day I was driving from Macon, Ga. to Atlanta for a routine TDY. While listening to a talk radio show, a motivational speaker used an analogy that was simple and effective in delivering his presentation.

He started by asking the question, "Are you involved or committed"? Naturally you would think, am I involved or committed to family, my marriage, my church, my life passion, my kids, my job?

Of course this question was not so simple.

He first began with the analogy of an ordinary breakfast. You have your eggs, bacon and toast. The chicken contributed the eggs and the pig contributed to the bacon. The chicken was involved with the breakfast but the pig was committed.

Look at what each animal gave in order for you to enjoy this traditional breakfast meal. The chicken labored and lost, but continues to lay eggs. The pig, well that's another story...that bacon came off his hide. The pig made a sacrifice considerably greater than the chicken.

Look now internally and consider what you are involved in versus committed.

Are you involved in your child's education or committed? Do you assist with homework every night, or investing in their future? Have you taken the steps to actually internalize the teacher's comments or are you defending the child's questionable behavior? Have you taught values which allow the youth to contribute to society versus sheltering them from reality or being over protective? Are you committed or involved?

How about your relationship with your spouse? Do you pick and choose your battles? Have you made compromises even though you gave more than your share? Is your spouse a top priority and more important, do they know it? Do you take them for granted or do they feel, taken for granted? Have you established and maintained a spiritual foundation of love, respect, trust, communication, compromise, and sacrifice. Are you committed or involved?

What about your profession? Now that you've leaped the hurtle of being hired, are you loyal to the organization and boss? Do you make changes to improve the organization versus just your self? Have you expressed healthy, yet respectful decent? Are you someone who is considered reliable and trustworthy? Are you the ring leader of gossip and constantly undermining authority? Are you committed or involved?

Some of our Air Force career fields have a more distinct definition and expectation of being involved versus committed.

For example, each aviator or operator that executes an aviation training mission, higher headquarters tasking, or combat sortie is by virtue of risk or occupation committed to that mission. From planning to execution, through completion, their bacon is on the line.

Can you imagine the potential consequences of a pilot who doesn't want to fly the scheduled sortie, but flies without being professionally committed to the mission?

He could cause harm, aircraft damage, loss of limb or worse loss of life to him and the lives of those onboard the aircraft. Are you involved or committed?

In the military, we can't afford to be just involved. During your time of service, another service member is depending on you to be committed. Each career field should grasp the concept of being committed versus involved.

When you are committed you push for solutions and resolutions versus selfish selfserving individual preferences. Those who are part of the military have all signed up for a responsibility higher than any efficiency or profit margin.

We have signed up to serve and defend. We serve and defend with pride and unwavering professionalism. Every time you hear of another service member who has made the ultimate sacrifice, feel honored to be one of the heroic pillars in society. But when you ever feel like you are tired of the exercises, you despise your supervisor, or loath the base, reflect on the oath you took and consider, "Am I involved or committed?"

I believe every person is destined to leave some kind of mark. We are all meant to walk a certain path at a certain time in a certain direction for a certain purpose. Sometimes we stray or miss our mark, and without a certain push in the right direction we might never find the path we were meant to follow.

Today, re-calibrate your moral compass and look at your personal, spiritual, and professional life and decide, "Am I involved or committed?"