Sunday, November 17, 2013

#321 / Expectations

Are our expectations just "disappointments under construction?" That's what Steve Alexander says. He is a talented mediator and counsellor with lots of experience. 

Searching for an image to use in this blog posting, I discovered an obviously experienced follower of Cleveland's professional baseball team. His blog is titled WFNY (Waiting For Next Year). He puts it this way: "Expectations are just premeditated resentments." 

These phrasings are different, but they seem to contain a common thought: best not to expect too much!

That's probably pretty good advice as a personal approach to life. Steve Alexander ties right back to the wisdom of Zen

There is, however, another way to think about expectations, at least in the context of how we organize ourselves within our community or society. It is my observation that most of us do what we are expected to do (by "society"). That isn't always true, but I think it's "generally" true. 

So, while it is probably wise counsel for each of us, personally, to train ourselves to have "no" expectations and to maintain that "Zen mind" of non-attachment, I think we should consider this alternative approach,  if we do find ourselves expecting something (and we almost always do). When expectations occupy a place in our thoughts, I think it is important that we not allow ourselves always to expect "the worst." 

If we let others know that we expect their best, and not their worst, we will often get their best. And vice versa. That is my experience. Still, if it doesn't work out that we get their "best," and it certainly doesn't all the time, I have to agree that neither disappointment nor resentment should be our reaction!

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