22 January 2011

Being Dependable

One of the most important decisions that I've made in my life is to be a dependable person.  I've decided that people should be able to trust in me, for when I commit to doing something, I do it, and I do it well.  I'll be on time when I'm supposed to be on time (within limits, of course--life does happen), I'll have work ready when it's supposed to be ready, and I'll make sure that I know the expectations of me before I undertake any task.  Of course, there are a couple of dangers inherent in such an approach to life.  First, it's possible that people will take advantage of me and my dependability, so I make sure that I don't commit to just anything.

Second, and to me most important, is the fact that as I grow more dependable, it's pretty easy for me to start to expect other people to be dependable, also.  This expectation, though, is rarely met--most people simply don't feel the need or desire to be answerable to other people, since they're so focused on their own wants and needs.  Dependability seems to be, in fact, a dying quality in life, and it grows harder and harder to meet people upon whom we can depend on a regular basis.  People are just growing far more involved in their own lives, and we seem to be losing touch with the concepts of community and oneness, as well as the concept that we are responsible for our brothers and sisters on this planet--if not responsible for their lives, then at least responsible for not making their lives any more difficult or unpleasant.

So it's important to me that I temper my expectations of others, not expecting too much from them in the area of dependability.  It's important that I don't put my very dependable perspective up against the lack of dependability that we see in so many other people.  While there is a lot of validity in the concept of seeing people rise to higher levels when we have higher expectations of them, this particular trait is something that needs a personal decision to improve--it's not going to happen just because of an outside influence.

When I don't expect others to be as dependable as I've decided to be, then I can rest easier.  I won't be as disappointed in others as often.  And while it would be nice to be surrounded by dependable people, it's very important to be realistic about our expectations of others, so that we don't place the added burden of higher expectations upon them, and so that we don't grow more and more disappointed in life and in other people as we make our ways through life.

We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men and women; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
Herman Melville

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