I was on my way to work one morning and had rationed my time in a way that left no room for aberration – I hopped on the freeway, and lo and behold, I came to a screeching halt – traffic. An accident a few exits ahead had cars creeping along like an ant trail in slow motion. What the heck?! Traffic wasn’t in my morning plan! “It’s not the time of day for traffic,” I mumbled to myself. I noticed my body heat up, my impatience building, tension all along my spine. As I was stressing out, eying the clock as if my gaze controlled it, I wondered, how many times a day are we inconvenienced?
Today’s topic is about expectations. Conflicting views arise – one belief is that we need expectations so that we and others are accountable. The other belief is a more Buddhist perspective about letting go of our expectations to alleviate suffering. What is the deal with expectations, anyway?
Highs and Lows
First, we must remember that having low expectations and having high expectations are still both forms of having expectations. Studies show that students whose teachers have low expectations of them perform at a lower level. Students whose teachers have high expectations of them perform at a higher level. In this regard, believing in peoples’ abilities and having high expectations of them allows them to see themselves in a positive light.
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