Saturday, May 30, 2009

「兩週一聚 (第十五期): 五年之後 ...」之【八卦文章】/ 「2weeks1gather (#15): Five Years Later ...」【The Five-year Commitments of Jon & Kate Plus 8】

I was among the 10 million TV viewers who watched last Monday the seasonal premier of "Jon & Kate Plus 8", a reality show that follows the life of an American couple plus their eight young children. I am not here to speculate whether Jon has an alleged affair with a teacher, or Kate their bodyguard, but rather to examine the issue of keeping long-term commitments.

Five years after the sextuplets were born, the couple appears to be less committed to their relationship, even though they had a renewal of marriage vow in Hawaii not that long ago. So, what has happened to "Till death do us part"? Does every couple just go through the motion during a marriage ceremony? Why make a commitment when we don't actually mean it?

In my opinion, people's lack of commitment happens in everyday life. How often do we find people making a "commitment" and then trying to back out of it later? "Sorry, I couldn't make it because I was busy, I ran out of time, I was misled, I ...." You know what I mean because we have done it ourselves.

So, instead of making unfulfilled promises, we should be realistic and face the fact that most of us will continue to make "soft commitments", the fulfillment of which is subject to future changes in circumstances, including time, places, people, resources, wimps, impulses, etc. On the other hand, "hard commitments" do exist, although they are rare and far in between. The instinct of a mother bear to protect her cub is a good example (of course, I would expect some readers to challenge me with the "nature vs nurture" argument).

Thus in closing, I would venture to say that nine out of ten commitments are "soft" and that people make unfilled promises not because they intend to lie, but because they have no concept of hard vs soft commitments.

My other blog articles related to Jon & Kate plus 8:

* Jon and Kate plus 8: 十年的婚姻 / Jon & Kate Plus 8: Ten Years of Marriage

* 再談男女關係之間的許諾 / More Thoughts on Commitments in a Man-Woman Relationship


Related Links:
本期『兩週一聚 2weeks1gather』出題博客是
For other articles with the same theme "Five Years Later ....", please visit the "2weeks1gather" website:

"Jon & Kate plus 8" Wikipedia
Photo Credit 攝影图片: 美國 TLC 電視臺


best actor said...

what are your views on commitments? do you believe in hard and soft commitments? i wish to believe that when people commit to each other, they will honour their commitments. but life is not free from changes and many people's relationships simply cannot withstand the test of time, fame, money, children, career, etc (in no specific order). my partner and i have been together for nine years now, and so far so good. but then we lead a much simpler life. :o)

HumptiDumpti said...

like your points about commitments.
I think the very short span of human life is filled with temptations, it would require a very high degree of discipline to keep things 'under control', including a relationship. Perhaps, to hold a happy marriage, 'love' only does 60-70% of the job, the rest is left to self-discipline, while some people may call this kind of 'control' as 'respect'.

in fact, since you are using JON & KATE as lead-in, i have to admit that i m a huge fan of this show... 8p

微豆 Haricot said...

Best Actor:

I hope my new article dated May 31, 2009 will clarify my views on commitments. I agree with you that a relationship may not withstand the test of time due to changes. However, there are decisions within our own control (or as HumptiDumpti puts it - self discipline) that will help a relationship survive through the ups and downs of life. Glad to hear the relationship btwn you and your partner is going strong. Often, simple life is happy life !!!

微豆 Haricot said...


I agree totally with you abt "self-discipline". While there are indeed circumstances beyond our own control, we all have ample opportunities to make choices, and the decision-making process requires among other things self-discipline and judgment.

Well, I think the Jon & Kate Plus 8 show will take a turn for the worse before it will (hopefully) get any better - for the sake of the kids.

the innnnnnner space said...

Looked like a Trueman Show to me,
the two were hired to perform.....!
So far as the contracts are still valid they have to continue.

chilli mom said...

I do not classify commitments as soft or hard commitments. I think that when people are making commitments, they are committing to themselves.

I commit to have a lifetime relationship with my spouse. it is because i think that's important to the completeness of my life. then I will try to do "wise" things to keep it healthy. self-discipline is essential because i am accountable to myself. javascript:void(0)

There may be things beyond our control that may affect the "end result". but it cannot reverse what already happened or change the process which I have already enjoyed.

微豆 Haricot said...

Space兄: In the Truman Show story, John Carey did not know the set-up was all a fake. It is not so with many reality shows these days. Yes, contractual requirements have to be fulfilled or re-negotiated.

微豆 Haricot said...

Chilli Mom: I respect your conviction and your determination to fulfill your own commitments, promises and enjoyment in life. Given the high number of relationship breakdowns these days, you and your spouse are a breath of fresh air !!! I wish you more happy days to come :)

Sam said...

Without knowing the whole, real story that happened off camera, I think Kate sends out a lot of bad vibe on TV which makes her look bad, although Jon was the one caught cheating. Talk about impression management lol.

微豆 Haricot said...

Sam: Indeed it is difficult for outsiders to know exactly what else are happening off camera. I assume there are lots of coaching by her agent and the TV channel to present a certain image to the audience.

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