Self reliance and your attitude toward yourself and others

Leonard Carr of the South African news organization Times Live examines the connection between your level of self reliance and how you interact with your environment. He decides that the “Truly noble tidy up their mess“:

Servitude occurs when you live in a state of lack. The consequent need that arises from what you lack makes you dependent on the help of others. This puts you in an inferior position to those upon whom you depend. Freedom, on the other hand, is characterised by self-sufficiency, self-respect and self-reliance. In short, it is the independence to, among other things, look after yourself and take care of your own needs.

If have often felt similarly. I worked on the housekeeping staff for a department store to put myself through college, and while a certain amount of mess can be expected from even the most considerate people, there were some messes we would find that could only have been intentional–someone who either felt themselves too important to take care of their own messes, or someone who got some sort of thrill out of making others take care of it for them. I can only feel for those people. Someday they are going to be in a situation where no one else will or can take care of them, and they simply won’t know how to cope.

On the other hand, I have seen some of the most high-ranking people in various organizations go to unusual lengths to tidy up after themselves. It speaks volumes, not only about how they view themselves, but how they view others. Those are the people who truly deserve the positions they have risen to. Those are the people most worth paying attention to in matters of importance.

I hope I never rise so high in life that I ever forget what it was like to clean hand prints off of glass partitions. And should I ever stoop to low as to purposely smudge a freshly cleaned window I hope the janitorial gods strike me dead on the spot. I will have ceased to provide any true value in the world.


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