To Be or Not To Be
A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!
~A Wise Man Said~
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
~When in Lancaster~
Life as PhD Student
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Read something about the role "expectations" have to play in relationships and could not help pondering on my own view of the matter. I have always heard people say, "Give, but do not expect". I do not know if it is the best way to be, but it has never struck me as so.
I myself have never been free of expectations and nor have I ever thought anything wrong with it. It may just go to show that I am human, but I have never yet aspired to be a saint.
I give something not because I expect something back in return, but when I give something, I do expect something in return. I am not speaking in material terms here. To take a simple example, if you speak politely to me, won't you expect politeness from me? If I should speak rudely to you in return for your politeness, won't you wonder, "But I was always polite to her"?
When we hate people, there is always a reason. I do not hate so and so, just because I want to hate so and so; I hate so and so, maybe because he has done something that inspires my hate. I lent him a book and he tore it perhaps. I entrusted him with a secret and he betrayed me perhaps. But when we speak of love, why do we believe we need not have a reason to love people? Why do I love my brother more than my sister, say? or Why do I love one of my friends more than the others? There must be a reason and if there is, what can it be? Isn't it possible that I love those more who return my affection more? Isn't it possible I love those more who understand me more? Aren't these my expectations at play here? My brother understands me just the way I want him to, he helps me just the way I would have liked him to, loves me as much as I could have desired him to...arent these my expectations? When we give respect, don't we expect respect in return, when we give love, don't we expect love in return, when we are loyal, don't we expect loyalty in return?...and if we do, how are we wrong in doing so?
Man by nature is selfish and it is this very selfishness that in part has ensured our survival. We want a thing not for the thing itself, but because we anticipate a satifaction out of it. We look for food, not for the food, but to satisfy our hunger. We seek friendship, not for the friendship itself, but because we desire the happiness the friendship brings to us. Even charity, we do not give charity for the sole cause of alleviating someone's misery, but because it makes us feel good. Then isn't it natural that we should love or give, because we anticipate something here too? and what is this something? It is the expectation that we will be "loved back in return". To say that we should keep on giving without expecting to be loved back, would be akin to saying, we should keep on eating even when it does nothing to satisfy our hunger.
To be human, is to have emotions, to have expectations, to have desires, to wish for fulfillments. As a fellow blogger summed it up "I could spend the rest of my life swooning over a lamp post. Why can't I? I do not expect it to love me back."