I haven't got anything to right now (apart from waiting for my laundry) and I was blog hopping and reading my past blog entries, as well as a few other friends' old blog entries, and realised that... A lot of them are about expectations. May it be grade expectations, musical audition expectations, earning expectations, relationship-related expectations... Life is always filled with expectations.
Let me share with you a little something I found on a random blogsite I stumbled upon.
"Way back in school, a new teacher walked into our class one day. He was replacing a teacher on leave, just for a day. What a funny chap he was. I do not remember his face or name, I must have been 10 or 12 years then. What I remember is a co-ol thing that he did. His smile caught the attention of most st-udents, including back-ben-chers like me. He wore a long, white robe of a Christian missionary, and pointed to the hu-ge white wall at the back with a small dirt mark somewhere in the middle and asked the class, ‘What do you see there?’
All the students raised their hands. It was easy. He chose one of the front benchers, a neat looking kid, who pr-omptly pointed out the black spot, a little to the left of the centre. The man smiled and pointed at a few other bright kids in succession, with each one proudly identifying the little dot on the huge wall.
He spoke again, with the smile still fl-ashing, ‘Does anyone notice anything el-se?’ We turned to the wall again. I could find nothing, though I so badly wanted to be a cut above the others. But there was nothing. He walked up to the wall, to-uched it with his hand and walked from one end to the other saying, ‘Is this not a lovely, white wall?’ We smiled, as he continued, ‘…and all we can point out is a little spec of dirt?’"
The writer of this short, inspiring story is a psychiatrist, film-maker and traveller.
We are all taught to expect things in a certain way. In this case, the wall was expected to be perfectly white. That isn’t too big a problem. But, aren’t we like that big white wall, too, with a spec or two within? We are expected to be spic and span in a certain way. If we go even slightly offtrack, the ‘dirt’ is pointed out.
Many a time we feel the urge to jump into a happy gig but control ourselves thinking we are not at the right place. Those in relationships often go through feelings of unparalleled anger or sadness, for they expect their partner to do certain things in a certain way, not realising that the partner still loves us and often does much more in his/her own way. Parents sulk over their children’s decision to marry or opt for a career against their wishes, rather than being happy in the child’s happiness.
We constantly expect things to happen in a certain way. And when they don’t, we feel we have failed. ‘The best things in life are unexpected — because there are no expectations’, said poet Eli Khamarov. If we look deeper into ourselves, we will discover a heap of unhappiness lying right within in the name of ‘expectations’.
That little lecture by that un-padrelike, smiling padre was something that I really enjoyed, and went: oh yeah, why didn't I think about it that way? No one notices little accomplishments, but when you make a little slip, BAM! everyone's talking about it. And then you wonder : why does one bad thing seem to erase a hundred other good things?
The continuation of the teacher's lecture :
“Live for happiness, not for what the world expects from you,” he said. “…and happiness only multiplies by sharing.” Then he burst into a nursery song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…” The class giggled and laughed, for we thought we were beyond nursery. But soon we found ourselves singing along. His happiness was infectious and he shared it with us, expecting nothing in return. And we gave it all to him, by flowing along in that river of happiness that lasted barely about 40 minutes before the next teacher walked in.
If not-expecting things make us happier people, then why on earth do we all still fill our lives with expectations?
A part of me argues that, with no expectations, how do you go about achieving your goal if you don't know what the end result it? (expecting where you'll be at the end of your hardwork)
This is something I have yet to come to a conclusion about, just sitting here in my little room in PGP waiting for clean laundry, wondering if "expectations" are mandatory... things, in a person's life, because if it weren't for my parents and relative's "expectations" of me, I (most probably) would not be here in Singapore, after months of hard-core practicing...
If only life were like a straight road, we wouldn't have to worry about every single thing that comes our way : the junctions that plague our minds, the blurry road trails that scare us, the mist-covered highways that confuse us...
But then again, if life WERE like a straight road...
No fun, right?
Someone please, just shoot me.