Expectations and Reality

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. This past week has been pretty intense with a lot of activities at my side and I felt I share a few realizations from it all.

As human beings and living entities with a bond with one another we all are interconnected in one form or another. We depend on one another for various forms of subsistence, be it food, shelter, clothing, protection, taxes etc. This interdependence shows the level of our minuteness despite our relentless effort to try to lord over the material nature. There is a popular saying that “no man is an island”, that we all need someone for something. The beauty of this realization s when it is extrapolated to the Supreme person who is atmarama, self-sufficient but still in want of the love from his devotees. This as a subject I shall deliberate on shortly after. One of the major reasons for disappointments in this material world is that we expect a lot from people who themselves expect a lot from others and thus we are stuck in a perpetual chain of wants and expectations, however most times we get what reality has to offer.

The society expects the citizens to be law abiding and loyal to the constitution, the citizens in return expect the state to be transparent in its dealings, to protect them and to provide them with a sense of security in various aspects of their lives. Organizations and companies expect their employees to be loyal, to work hard and to be productive, on the other hand the employees expect the employers to be encouraging and to provide them with a sense of financial remuneration and security. To what extent all these are practical and attainable depends to a large extent on the individual inputs of each and everyone in the expectation circle or quadrant. I have taken the liberty to design something of my thought process which I call the expectation quadrant. I use the word quadrant because I envision a four phase activity. In the first quadrant we have an expectation which we usually expect someone to fulfill or meet, we thus either search to find this person or people who we feel can meet this expectation. In quadrant two we meet the “person” we feel can meet this expectation and thus we relate to them based on our expectations and not based on their true nature or on the reality of the situation around. In quadrant three, we begin to experience some sort of dissatisfaction or apprehension when we realize that maybe our expectation isn’t going to be met or maybe it isn’t being met at all. This naturally brings us to the fourth quadrant, if or should the expectation be met in quadrant four we exploit the situation, and if not met we return back to quadrant one.

Quadrant of expectations©

Q1. Expectation Q2. Subject supposed to meet expectation
Q3. Dissatisfaction/Apprehension Q4. Exploitation or return to quadrant 1.

 

As simple as this quadrant might seem a lot of our disappointments especially materially can be simulated with this quadrant. One quick example is marriage. People enter into marriages with their expectations and naturally go through from quadrant one to four; if the expectation is not met they jump ship and try to find it in another marriage. The result is we have quite a lot of divorce cases today. Once you have been through more than two marriages, it is pretty certain that there is a recurring habit in expectation that needs to be readdressed.

A more subtle example is having kids. People feel that bringing souls into this world is something that can be done for fun or just to fulfill social or traditional obligations. So they carry out physical act of bringing in souls to this world with the expectation that once they do this then automatically they have will feel some satisfaction. This however turns the other way around becomes the satisfaction is just an exploitation of the situation. This exploitation leaves us with lots of kids growing up in dysfunctional families. The sad part is that instead of such people to learn to correct this dis-functionality from the root, they act as in quadrant four. They run into another “subject” and try to re-fulfill the expectation. Thus we have recurring cases of many “baby daddies and baby mama’s”. Interestingly enough is usually even after creating such a dysfunctional situation, such parents  have “expectations” from kids that they have brought into this world based on their own expectations, and have abandoned them because they were chasing more expectations. The bitter truth is the only expectation they can expect is for a sad lonely life at old age and probably no one at their death bed and grave side.

Material nature is such that we can cheat some people every time, we can cheat some people some time, but we cannot cheat everyone at every time. This law is one that puts everyone in check at some point. Even if we feel we are so expert at cheating people to obtain our expectations then for sure, we have one last obstacle we cannot cheat and that is death. When it comes we are all held accountable.

So one may ask how do we live in a world where there is so much expectation from us and we also having so much expectation from others? The answer is that we need to understand the transient nature of every living being that we hope or intend to meet our expectation. The only person we can actually have full hope in is the Supreme Lord Himself, because he is self-sufficient. Only someone who is self-sufficient can actually help us meet our expectations. Thus we take our expectations and present them to the Supreme Lord and naturally He makes a natural selection for us. He does this natural selection because he knows what is best for us. Whether we have no desires or expectations or we have a lot of them, or simply have the expectation of being saved by a religious institution to which we are affiliated we should surely present our expectations to the Supreme Lord.

I hope this helps you all and I hope to bring yet another interesting topic next week. Till then please share this within your circle, to family and friends.

 

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