Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We all grow up with expectations. These expectations start from the early years of our lives, partially shaping and molding us to who we are today. Those who rise above their expectations are highly looked upon; those who fall back into the dark alleys of the other side are shunned.

The thing about expectations is that, it does come with strings attached. As a child, we are expected to be obedient. When we go to people’s houses, our parents can be assured that their kid is not be the spoilt brat running around with a stolen toy of another child throwing a tantrum screaming their lungs away. They can be proud to note their little darlings are angels in disguise. All my mum had to do was give me a cold hard stare so much if I tip-toe out of line, and Ill go right back where I should be.

In school, there were rules and regulations to adhere to. And not forgetting, the expectations of us to perform well in school. No one will complain of a child who brings home a string of A’s or a truck load of trophies from various tournaments, games and sports.

The thing about expectations is that when they are not met, we get disappointed. The level of disappointment is proportional to the level of closeness you are to the person. Then there is a saying, learn to not expect. That way, you will be spared from dissatisfaction. And learn to accept everything that comes your way. While it is easy to say, it is not so easy to do. What if the expectations have a basis and ground to it?

How am I supposed to not expect my best friend to keep my biggest secret? Or a team member to not come up with good work? Or my parents to not turn their backs against me in my hour of need? I cant, I would expect all that and I don’t think it’s wrong or unfair.

And the irony is that, the people closest to you, hurts you the most when they don’t live up to your expectations. And by expectations, I don’t mean ridiculous ones, just the basic, realistic expectations that come with the circumstances you are in. I would not expect 100 roses for Valentine’s Day, a simple hand-made card made lovingly would suffice. I would not expect a huge bash for my birthday, a nice cosy dinner with a candle on my cake would do. I would not expect a car from my parents as my graduation present (though I will not decline if I get it), their proud faces of their eldest child getting her scroll is priceless.

So am I not to expect anything then? I don’t think so. Because they are things also expected out of me and I do go my way to meet them. We all do. Then, why can’t some people do the same?

Expectations go two ways, if one party is always letting down the other, how can you expect things to remain oh-so-happy? Pretending that nothing is happening is worse, confront it, explain it then give people a chance to remedy their ways or to take notice and then act. And after all that, you know you have at least tried.

So, to expect or not to expect?

1 comment:

Sam said...

Well I guess it depends on whether the expectant understands that not everyone can give all the time. I suppose the expectant must learn that for everything expected - there are limits, and that for those who can't give despite all they want to - we can lower the standards of expectancy, and learn to be happy with what we get.

But that doesn't mean we can't tell the giver to up a notch of whatever it is they are giving - we can compromise two ways on how the expectant expects and how the giver gives, and vice versa of what the giver expects and the expectant gives.

In a sense. :P