Sentimentality Hour: A Rant on Expectations

I apologise first for my Grumpusness. 

When one thinks of the word “expectation”, it is usually accompanied by “disappointment”, for it has always been the case: you only set yourself up for disappointment if you expect anything.

It is a time where “living in the moment” is idealised. Feeling the natural flow of things is now a novelty that few are able to truly embrace if they find themselves in an urban setting. Perhaps we are settling for mediocrity as a source of contentment, for the randomness of life has never been more apparent with the technology introduced in the 21st century.

From this I merely mean that the potential for weird shit to happen is now tripled, because we have access to people in a thousand different ways. Coincidence has never been more apparent, and planning has never been more effective. But I find that amongst the individuals I spend time with, there is an importance to not expect anything, which I find utterly absurd.

As human beings, are we not prone to have a vision of what the outcomes of a situation are like? Should we not hold standards to the kind of conduct we want around us? I have never demanded outrageous things from anyone, but I suppose I am also naive in the way that I want the goodness of people to prove to me that humanity is, at least, redemptive, or that you know yourself enough to identify what you want and crave. Yet I find people afraid to live in the past and the future, even though reflection in these times are what make for meaning in my life. Why else is there such an importance to learn about history or innovation? The present is merely a brief second of living until it joins the multitude of happenstance that will be amongst distorted memories. Everything is a reaction, so why should we hold such importance to such an idea?

I grow weary of these people, who say that they “live in the moment.” If you truly lived in the moment, there would be no strategies. You would bounce around the walls of life as randomly as a pinball. You wouldn’t follow a schedule, and you’re probably somewhat privileged for not having to think things through. Frugality is a strategy that has to be employed by some people. You think ahead for the future of your own wellbeing and that of your family’s. I suppose to enjoy something for “the moment” would be not recognising that you’re having a “moment” to begin with. For that “moment” is defined after some thought. Surely, thinking “ah man I’m loving this moment” isn’t very “momenty” for someone to admit. Those “moments” without having been expressed or recorded, will be lost in the vague apparitions that eventually become romanticised or partly forgotten.

It is true that people regret not appreciating their time because they lived too much in planning, but this is not to say that one should disregard it. Are you scared of the future? The future is fearless if you have direction and expectation. Sure, the possibility of those plans to fall through have everything to do with the circumstance you arrive in, but shouldn’t having “thought things through” bring some security. The true fear that people associate with the future is the fear of failure. You can also expect that things will not turn out the way you want them to, but I hardly think that’s justification to not expect anything at all.

Shouldn’t we feel that we deserve some kind of decent treatment as fellow human beings? Does it not make one sad to know that we live in a time where not expecting anything is the best way to approach a situation? Why are we all meant to let each other down? Why are we surprised by kind gestures and grateful for an ounce of positivity? Should we completely disregard our human nature which automatically makes expectations?

I expect there will be no answer to this, for to think about expectations would not be “living in the moment,” and I remain eternally frustrated about the topic.

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