Saturday, April 13, 2013

Expectations and some more of it!

Well, all of us , humans have expectations. I'm not talking about those who are always in a zen state, like sadhus or monks here..All of us ordinary mortal do have expectations , either from the results of our work or from people

You study and write exams well - expect good marks/results
A kid behaves  well - expect parents to get you candies (though good behaviour should be the norm and not be seen as something special)
You give a good performance - expect to be applauded
You perfom well at workplace - expect a good hike and other rewards
A waiter - expects a tip from the diner
Maid - expects that the mistress doesnt scold for taking a 2 day awol

and it goes on..When expectations are not met, there is a good chance of getting upset, even if its for a silly reason or if its for a brief period. few expectations, as humans are natural and probably justifiable, say, you perform well either at work or in exam, you expect the rewards..In this case, the effort has been put, and naturally outcome is awaited. Though in real life, we all know that in spite of best efforts ,one need not or does not always achieve what he/she expects for .

For example, in case of an employee expecting a good rating for his annual performance, he gets a shocker when  he does not get what he expects to..Reasons could be many ..The perception of his boss on the employee's performance could be different than his, there could have been some assumptions made, miscommunication happened or there were simply many of them who performed well so he couldnt be given the top rating, or some performance behaviours could have been overlooked  etc etc..

In the above situation where metrics drive rewards, if there can be so many uncertainties leading to unexpected results, what about the whole world at large, which deals with people with blood and flesh who have emotions and mood swings which are simply analogous and span across many shades of grey?.Expecting an outcome from an activity/task or expecting either material stuff from people or expecting others to satisfy their expectation can go for a toss, resulting in conflict within oneself , and more often, resulting in conflict with people around us.

So, the best is to have our expectations low even if its difficult to have zero expectations..Bhagvad Gita has been trying to insert this into our heads for a long long time now..

Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana,

But simple mortals like us dont put this in action and bring our complexity in our lives..

Ok,why am I ranting this: 2 recent incidents made me do this post:

At the lunch table, my colleague says she gets anxious at the nearing of a long weekend. Reason, her mil expects her dil to visit her as and when a long weekend comes..If there is no longish weekends for a couple of months, she asks her to take off from office to come and meet her..While she is there, expects her to gossip with her, explain in detail as to whats going on in her life so while the dil is gone back after the trip, she can broadcast it to all and sundry.  

I call up my aunt to congratulate on her grannyhood and there she starts complaining about my mother who did not visit this aunt  during her trip to Chennai. I tried explaining her that the one-day trip that my mom undertook was for a specific purpose and by the time the work got over it was 4 PM in one end of the city and she had to wade through the maddening evening traffic to reach the other end of teh city to catch her return bus. All this wnet into deaf eras and she went on and on rolling out sentences..

Now, what kind of expectations are all these? First of all, I, for one, believe that no one can expect the other person to behave this way or that way..Even with one's own child, we can only teach the child proper behavior through our own actions, try and talk to the child when the child's behavior is incorrect , and at the end, we can only HOPE that he child behaves properly from now on..When it comes to relationships and relatives, agreed that there needs to be give and take and the equation does not equalize most of the times . But, what makes a person expepct that he/she NEEDS to be visited regularly , without giving least thought to the circumstances that the other person might be in which prevents the person from visiting him/her. Even if the circumstances were ideal, there is absolutely no requirement that their expectations are fullfilled by others..

All of us have many relatives, both near and distant who have a huge list of expectations from people. Well, general , simple expepctations can be fullfilled most of the times..But only when these so-called -simple expecatations are not fullfilled just once, they make a big issue out of it and simply forget all the innumerable times when their expectations were full-filled. This kind of behavior creates a friction in the relationship and gives a starting point for a sour relationship.  

Tell me, will a marriage cease to happen if one of the relatives doesn't show up?  But, just because one did not show up, the hosts keep pointing to that every now and then , this leads to a grudge and then a tit-for-tat and still expect the one who did not turn up  to be amiable with the host and take whatever words are thrown at him/her. Each one have their own lives to live and we cannot always keep expecting others to behave the way we want them to. We should try and put ourselves in other peoples' shoes..Some people go about telling everyone the minor headache they have, some others choose to keep it to themselves even if they undergo a huge mental trauma. Each one of us is different. While some enjoy talking , we also need to realise that there are also people who prefer to be on their own. Just because one doesnt pick up the phone to gossip or let out all that is happening in their lives, doesnt mean that this person wants to be aloof. Its just that its a character of this person..Let them be..A lot of it has to be with ones' upbringing.   The relationship is sure to blossom if  the host calls up the relative and says "The wedding went well.I was thinking about you. I'm sure you would have turned up if not for something urgent. Your blessings are required for the newly-weds.Please come home whenever you have time" ..What does it take to have our hearts to look at things positively and be genial with everyone? Does it really cost a lot?

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