In a World of Many Challenges, Learn How to Keep Your Promises Made

2017-04-26

Alex Sheen to Speak at SNA's 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC)

The following is the sixth in a series of news stories exploring the exciting opportunities and events at ANC.

How many times have you made a promise that you did not keep?

Alex Sheen, the founder of the because I said I would international social movement thinks that the world would be a much better place if we all tried to keep the promises that we make.

“When you look the world today,” says Sheen. “I think that is fair to say that people don’t keep their promises anymore. Certainly, that does not include everybody but, there was a time when a handshake used to mean something and that does not seem very true anymore.

“People really do rely on us and it has huge impact on them in good way. So, if we all take our promises and commitments a little more seriously and not be quite so flippantly, we can change other people’s lives in really positive direction.”

A non-profit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept, because I said I would adheres to seven important principles: compassion, self-control, sacrifice, honesty, hope, contemplation, and accountability. Sheen, SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) Closing Session keynote speaker on Wednesday July 12, will share with you his definition and meaning behind the Latin word “promittere” or promise, and why it is important that we share our values and make a sincere attempt to live by them.

“Because,” says Sheen, “One day, there may not be a tomorrow to keep them.”

Sheen’s father was good at keeping his promises and when he died of small cell lung cancer on September 4, 2012, he titled his father’s eulogy “because I said I would” and created the promise card in his memory.

“When my father passed away, I reflected on his greatest quality and tried to write a eulogy that would be in honor of that,” recalled Sheen. “Because of the viral nature of social media, some of the things I mentioned ended up online and it kind of snowballed into this because I said I would movement for people who want to be a person of their word and make the best of their struggles.

“My dad was far from a perfect person but I wanted to live up to the best part of who he was.”

At the time, Sheen was a corporate strategy lead at Hyland Software and managed the firm’s corporate-wide Innovation Program. He decided to leave his high-paying job and pursue a life of philanthropy and service after the loss of his father. As founder of because I said I would, Sheen has to-date, sent over 6.7 million promise cards to more than 153 countries around the world. His message of commitment to the betterment of humanity through promises kept, has inspired thousands of people.

“The promise card,” explains Sheen, “Is nothing more than a blank piece of paper where you would write a promise and give it to someone telling them that you are going to fulfill it.

Register for ANC 2017:

Sound interesting? Registration for ANC is open. For a complete schedule, special event and general session information, hotel and travel information, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/anc or watch the ANC video.

“It’s a small thing, but social science suggests that when we hold each other accountable and when we write down our commitments, the weight of fulfillment increases, not by some sort of magic but by focus, and we keep our promises.”

At ANC 2017 Sheen said, he will be handing out 10 promise cards to everyone in attendance at the Closing General Session, which you can use at your school, community or home.

“I am not an inspirational-type speaker that is going to tell you, you can anything,” concludes Sheen. “But what I am going to share with you in Atlanta is, what is in your absolute power to do today. Just think: if you could volunteer at your local food bank or call your grandmother back and keep all your promises, we all make the world a more humanitarian place to live.”

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