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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %RELIABILITY EXPECTATION PEOPLE IDEAL VALUE FOLLOW+920907 %FAITH HOPE LOVE FRIEND RELATIONSHIP TECHNIQUE LAW+920907 %ADDICTION CODEPENDENCY COLLUSION SICK THINKING 920907 Reliability has to do with the fulfillment of expectations. We say a person is reliable if the person fulfills the expectations we have of the person. Reliability may also apply in differing ways to: commercial products, commercials, advertising, pictures, images, visions, stories, statements, testimony, role models, leaders, guides, guidance, ideals, values, principles, theories, laws, legal systems, moral codes, beliefs, faith, hope, love, friends, relationships, procedures, techniques, technologies, disciplines, machines, fixes, drugs, solutions, and many other realities. The reliability of any reality depends upon the relationship between the reality and the person in whom expectations exist. The expectations do not exist in the reliable reality by the nature of the reality, and so the RELIABILITY IS NOT A PROPERTY OF THE REALITY. It is NOT the person IN WHOM EXPECTATIONS EXIST, who is said to be reliable because of the nature of the expectations which exist IN HER OR HIM. The reliability or non-reliability PERTAINS TO THE RELATIONSHIP between the reality and the person(s) in whom expectations exist---because of the nature of the relationship. Thus the MANNER OF SPEAKING about a reality which ATTRIBUTES THE QUALITY OF RELIABILITY TO THE REALITY---RATHER THAN TO THE RELATIONSHIP---may on occasion be a misleading manner of speaking. We need to recognize, in spite of our persistent manner of speaking about realities which are reliable--- that THE QUALITY OF RELIABILITY PERTAINS TO OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH WHATEVER WE FIND TO BE RELIABLE. So also, the quality of non-reliability pertains to our relationships with whatever we find to be un-reliable. The person who makes a judgment that a reality is reliable (or not reliable) HAS PLAYED A REFLEXIVE ROLE IN MAKING THE RELIABILITY OR NON-RELIABILITY REAL. The reflexive role played may be large or small, dominant or not, controlling or not; yet in principle it is important to be able to recognize the nature of the REFLEXIVE ROLE PLAYED BY THE JUDGE OF THE RELIABILITY---for our not being able to recognize that reflexive role can lead to tragic consequences on occasion. To understand the difference between reliable and non-reliable realities/relationships we need to recognize the nature of the judgments regarding which realities/relationships are reliable, and the nature of the judgments regarding which realities/relationships are not reliable. All such judgments are partially reflexive, and partially objective. To pretend that such judgments are purely reflexive, or purely objective is misleading. How reliable a reality/relationships is depends upon how we are led by the reality/relationship: person, product, commercial, etc. How much is the way we are lead attributable to the reality/relationship, and how much to our needs, desires, assumptions, etc? The responsibility is in principle always a joint responsibility. We may be mislead through wishful thinking; and then blame the external reality for our being misled. If we mislead ourselves, then we further mislead ourselves by making a judgment that the fault lies with a reality which is external to us. In such a case it is we who are unreliable, rather than the external reality which we judge to be unreliable. If we mislead ourselves through dishonest collusions, we are unreliable because we mislead ourselves. Each kind of reality may participate with us in its own kinds of ways in relationships in which we are reliably led (or unreliably led) in our expectations regarding the reality with which we participate in relationships. The reliability of our judgments about reliability (or non-reliability) depends upon our ability to recognize the natures of each kind of reality/relationship, the natures or our relationships with each kind of reality, and the ways in which we are led or mis-led within such relationships in which we are participant leaders and/or followers. We cannot be mislead without being in some sense a leader and/or a follower in the process. The person who is mislead is a person who has followed some leading; and bears some responsibility as a follower. Every follower bears some responsibility for choices of whom or what to follow; and so bears some responsibility for every occasion of being misled. Expectations grow in the person who is misled, in the follower; and so that person as a follower bears at least some responsibility for the growth of the misled expectations. We may play a role in the growth of expectations in another person who WANTS TO EXPECT some kind of fulfillment in which we would play a significant role; yet we may be totally unaware of the role we play, or of the growing expectations in the other person. The role which we are expected to play---MAY BE CAST UPON US unawares by the person in whom the expectations grow. Yet that person may be DISAPPOINTED BY OUR NOT PLAYING THE ROLE ASSIGNED to us in their expectations---and WE MAY BE BLAMED for our failure to fulfill their expectations. They may be unable to sort out the relative amounts of responsibility for their disappointment, and for their misleading judgment about our lack of reliability. We cannot transcend our confusions about being misled, about reliability of realities, and about fault--- if we are unclear about the nature of reliability, mis- leading, mis-following, expectations, and disappointments. See the next essay. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================