Remember the good old days when the pinkie swear was the law of the land? No one broke a pinkie swear on the playground. No one.
Of course there were all sorts or variations of the swear. Who can forget “cross my heart, hope to die, poke a needle in my eye”? But when it comes down to it, swears are just words. They have no substance to them. Swears and promises alike, are all so easily broken.
In court for instance, just because you made a witness swear upon the Bible, it in no way prevents the person from lying. Obviously criminals are not going to confess to a crime just because they swore they wouldn’t lie. It’s not like a physical barrier forbids the person from breaking their swear.
I can’t help but juxtapose two Shakespearean plays that have a scene that really showcases the swear.
On one hand, we have Romeo and Juliet. And on the other, we have Hamlet
If we look at these two scenes, Juliet shares my cynicism of the swear. She does not trust Romeo to swear upon just anything, only himself. Hamlet on the other hand, sees the swear as being the most honorable promise. Just because he makes his men swear upon his sword, does not hinder them in anyway from telling what they have seen.
To me, actions speak louder than words. If someone proves time and time again that they can be trusted, then that to me, is much more powerful than a swear.