Commitment is a pretty daunting word when you sit down to think about it. Which I did for longer than I’d like to admit in preparation for this post. Merriam-Webster tells me it’s a promise, dictionary.com said it was a state of being, and Abraham Lincoln defined commitment as the thing that which turns a “promise into a reality.” I agree with each of these ideas and believe that commitment is the key component to any successful endeavour meaning it has saturated popular culture with tales of personal achievement.
On television we can see commitment personified in Temperance Brennan, the title character of Bones, played brilliantly by Emily Deschanel. For those who haven’t seen the show, Temperance is the foremost forensic anthropologist in the world who solves crimes with FBI Agent Seeley Booth. Temperance herself is also the highly fictionalized version of Kathy Reichs.
Kathy is one of only eighty-two certified forensic anthropologists in America and has worked around the world. She has aspired to her chosen craft through an undergraduate degree, a masters degree, a phd, and her continued performance. Kathy is also the author of two academic anthropology texts and nineteen novels on the subject that draw from her own experiences. She is a producer on Bones and works to keep the show’s science honest. By applying her specific set of knowledge to multiple mediums Kathy has demonstrated her passion and commitment to her chosen field.
Sonya Thomas, a 46 year old globally ranked competitive eater, has worked her way into the highest levels of the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Known as the “Black Widow” for beating men five times her size, Sonya uses a strict diet and exercise regimen to maintain her standings. Though she has slipped from #2 to #5 globally, she still holds twenty-five records and earns up to $100, 000 a year. Her chosen profession is seemingly on the fringe of popular culture and is non-traditional in nature but Sonya has capitalized on her unique abilities through personal strength and determination. Frankly, I find it mind-boggling that a 100 pound person can eat nine pounds of crawfish jumbalaya in ten minutes and felt she deserved some recognition here on pcp.
These women are of course just examples of commitment to academic or financial goals but to expand on the other types I would need a lot more space and time. Personal commitments are also important, and whether romantic or platonic they are a big part of popular culture. (Side note: I purposely didn’t want to touch on Temperance Brennan’s personal commitments because it is too important to the show and everyone should go watch!!)