Reliability: The quality of being trustworthy or performing consistently well.
I value reliable people to the extreme because they are so hard to find.
Comparing cultures 100 years ago versus now, a trait that has diminished in popularity is ‘being there’ when family or friends need you. People incapable of completing a task on their own depend on technology to fill the competency gap today, where 100 years ago people depended on other people to achieve a goal.
The phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is an old African proverb that describes exactly this concept. The modern 1st world parent does not call a friend with questions about being able to solve problems independently. There’s nothing wrong with being independent, except that (in my opinion) fiercely independent people can judge others who need help and are not always reliable.
This theory is universal, it could apply to the workplace or with friends and families. Independent people can be judgmental of those who ask for their help. Think about this example, a stay at home parent who gets easily angered with their partner for not taking care of the children to their standard.
How many times has this happened? A mom nags step by step instructions to the dad before leaving for a Saturday lunch date. Upon returning home she finds the house a disaster. The attitude I’m addressing is the judgement that follows, “I leave for ONE hour and this place looks like a tornado came through.”
However, the dad and children had an immense amount of fun playing together while the mom was out (thus she was not nagging the dad or helicoptering the children).
This mom is the same mother who is a bake sale star, soccer mom, ensures that the house is always clean and is probably a high achiever in her circles. The problem is that despite this woman’s obvious strengths, her biggest weakness is her judgement of others. She is the woman who will show up at the bake sale with goods that look like they came from a bakery, yet will judge those who simply baked chocolate chip cookies.
She constantly thinks, “If I want to get something done, I have to do it myself.”
To unify the points of reliability and independence accompanied by judgement. You can ask a person for help and probably receive the help you need, but you will likely feel guilty about asking for help in the first place. Modern culture creates individualistic and judgmental behavior, not a healthy, reliable community of people.
Reliable people are becoming more and more difficult to come by. As a consequence of society, people are becoming more reliant on everything but each other and are encouraged to alienate others. Think social media, cell phones, GPS, cars and the internet.
Don’t view others from a place of judgement. Asking for help is a stretch for the average person and when that gesture is met with judgement it discourages friendships from forming that are built on trust and reliability.
My nostalgia kicks in more deeply each day as I see a world full of humans who don’t talk to each other and don’t have healthy relationships. I miss hearing stories about best friends who would drop anything and come to the aid of one another. It’s almost nonexistent today. Being reliable is deeper than completing a task or showing up on time. Being reliable is doing those things with a heart full of love and gratitude.
I call upon you to be a reliable friend, colleague and family member. Be reliable to our future descendants. They are counting on you to be reliable and do what is right for the world. Despite the few do-gooders out there trying to convince the world to be green and sustainable, our generation will be remembered for greed and waste. We are not reliable.
Each small act contributes to the good of the world. Even if the choice is as small as genuinely being glad to help your friend or happily recycling a soda can. We need to be a reliable society and swing the pendulum away from greed, judgment and selfishness.
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