Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I was thinking this morning about how I am frequently getting my knickers twisted about the things people don't do that I expect them to. I send people e-mail and they never answer or even acknowledge receipt, I lend people stuff and they never return it etc. Today I realized that it's all about expectations . When I give someone a gift, my ownership ends at the moment I give it. What somebody does with that treasured bottle of wine, book (read it or not) is not under my control. The recepient of the gift is totally free to do exactly what he wants to with my gift.
The same is true of letters, e-mails etc. If I choose to send a message, that's my privlege and if the recepient chooses not to answer that's his.
We clutter up our lives and our peace of mind with expectations and they are really only simple manifestations of that old devil- ego. Letting go of expectations is a step towards diminishing our own egotism (note, I didn't say eliminating, just diminishing - let's be realistic)
Just as spontaneous acts of gratuitous kindness & generosity are good for your spiritual health as the devine Surgeon General has declared so are expectations a serious threat to our spiritual well being.
I'm going to try to reduce mine immediately


Anonymous said...

Yes, I keep having to relearn to keep expectations low, hopes high. Another way to think about it is what you've done here, to describe yourself as having a choice in the matter. It's so easy (at least for me) to forget that most everything I do is out of my own choice. Once you realize that, you don't feel like a victim (of other people's ingratitude, etc.) anymore.
I really appreciated the reminder in this post. ML

Claude said...

Ned, I found your comment on my blog last night. I am French indeed, but used to be an English teacher and spent two years in the States when I was young. I still have very good friends there.
And your name appeared again in the comments of one of my favourite blogs, Time goes by.
Getting old is sometimes hard. I had to go through the retirement thing in the fall but am so happy now that I have lots of time to do what I like best: blogging and taking photographs.
Thanks for dropping by.
I will be back.