Maybe this old adage works for those people we want to pretend don’t exist, or that we don’t share any level of interdependence with, but what about everybody else?
Are we so emotionally guarded that disappointment is the only solution we have to offset the feeling of someone failing to live up to our expectations?
It’s certainly a reasonable way to live life and avoid the pain of being shamed. Just avoid those people who appear to have no shame in their transgressions, thusly, limiting your exposure to the risk of pain and suffering altogether.
There’s just one problem--- this doesn’t lend any logic to the fact that people are naturally good. Humans ascended to the top of the food chain because we needed each other and had to see the best in everyone. Despite our desire for isolation and the creature comforts of today, we are still just like those early humans struggling against the elements and predators—We need each other and each other’s forgiveness to survive.
The impact of human forgiveness and peer to peer atonement matters; without it, I would have never been born.
Mack is my granddad, my mom’s dad. MeMe is his wife of 60 years. Though disappointed at times I’m sure, MeMe never blinked an eyelash when it came time to forgive Mack when the demons he fought won a few rounds. But she believed in him. She always saw the one good thing that he did after 99 wretched ones. Her enduring love for him is why hurt and pain doesn’t always mean shame for everyone involved. Sometimes love, or something like it, is what we need to get the best out of people. Eventually it clicks, and love proves to be the answer again and again. Mack has spent the last twenty years living in a state of semi-retirement, surviving cancer and a form of hydrocephalus, and loving MeMe as his soulmate and the only person that saw the good through all the bad. Forgiveness is why I’m here.
Expectations drive all reactions of human emotion. When we don’t see the intended result, we call it failure. We immediately make a determination of whether it should piss us off or make us cry. This is a perfect example of of A-C thinking and our complete ignorance of B.
Something bad happens ------------------------------------------------------>Emotional Reaction
But if we just add one step of logic, we can give ourselves an opportunity to see the best in people. The progression through this often left out step makes us vulnerable, maybe appearing weak. I would argue that it is a characteristic of servitude and understanding. Absolutely, some people exist to expose compassion as weakness. It’s like giving a dollar to the homeless man at the gas station, you can only give him the means for something good, it’s up to them to use it for its intended purpose. We shouldn’t choose who we share our grace with, but relate to them with a spirit of meekness. This bridled power is a key component to serving others. So, what if our logic looked like this.
A B C
Something bad happens ->My reaction could help in meeting my expectations->Less Emotional Reaction
I know this is pie in the sky, little KUBUKI Medicine Man conjecture, but wouldn’t a greater sense of forgiveness and understanding make the world a better place? I think so, and should try to serve all those in my life by filling the gap of greater expectation with understanding. I fail at it every day; sometimes by choice of my A-C thinking. Sometimes by refusing to be vulnerable. This approach has burnt me, but not scarred me. And a few times the results have reinforced the fact that all people are good when humility successfully fills the gap of expectation. There is no greater feeling than seeing someone appreciate compassion when they realize it changed their life.
Expectations can be realized through Forgiveness if you allow it.
Easy as A--->B--->C,