I have been brewing on this for a while so I shall attempt to make sense of my thoughts.
Our society is built on expectation. We are conceived and from the moment our parents are aware of a new life, there is an expectation. For example, we expect a physically perfect, healthy baby. We are born and the expectations persist. We are expected to fit into a societal ‘norm’ which dictates thoughts and behaviour. Some parents expect child prodigies and supreme athletes. Most parents don’t expect such extremes but they do place pressures on children to achieve certain academic success and sporting prowess.
As children, we are raised to believe we must meet these expectations. What a burden! As young adults we perpetuate the cycle because we know no different. To add to this, we create great expectations for ourselves, as well as for our friends and future partners. Think about the fairy tale white wedding, with a happy ending.
What’s the point? This type of living is doomed. Despite our best efforts, we remain individuals, with our own agendas (of which we are often unaware) and as such, we will often not meet our own expectations. It is also highly unlikely that we will fulfil those that others have of us. This inherently causes tension and hurt. These emotions are expressed in difficult family dynamics, failed friendships and bitter-ending romantic attachments.
I propose that we are honest with ourselves about who we are, what we believe in and what we truly desire. This takes effort and is an ongoing exercise. We are bombarded with television, social media and the busyness of our lives. How would we find the time to ‘know’ ourselves? It is much easier to lose ourselves in societal behaviours. It’s a way of life and has ‘served’ us for generations. Not true!
When we intend to discover out innermost being, we are able to appreciate our wants and needs. Then we are able to communicate these to the people we care about. But, we should not have an expectation that they will fulfil them. Other individuals are not under any obligation to meet our needs. We are solely responsible for our own happiness.
This brings me to the second concept around expectation. What if we built a world without expectation? What would happen if we allowed our children to connect with their souls to discover what makes then happy? Could we guide them to follow their passion, instead of the money? Would these children become the new generation that stands up for themselves and develops a new society? In so doing, can we accept that everyone has their own path to follow? If our paths cross and we meet each others’ needs, at the time, isn’t that beautiful? A reason to rejoice? Without expectation we could move in and out of each others’ spaces without inducing hurt or anger.
What a wonderful world!