Did You Know That Babies Cannot Be Disappointed?
Opposite of Disappoint?
That word is so filled with connotations, meanings, definitions and concepts that it is near scary. We will work our way down into that quagmire of expectations after a bit. We will also address whether or not a person has a right to be disappointed in another. And of course we must address the issue of whether or not we have a right to be disappointed when we do our best but fall short. Should a parent ever be disappointed with a child, is that right at all?
“Eric you really disappoint me.” That is so loaded with guilt it is sad. And can we really be so co-dependent on others that “they” disappoint us? I have a feeling that when we finish here that we will find only one possible area where disappointment is warranted and justified. But let us work through it and see where it leads us.
If you ever have the time and or inclination to read it there is a book that I hope is required reading in our High Schools. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens about 1860 or so. It really does not hit expectations like we do today. But if you read it with expectations in the back of your mind it speaks volumes on the issue.
Now we must be careful to adjust the notions of expectations and anticipation which are different. One being to “expect of” and the other is to look forward. I classify expectation along the lines of worry and anticipation one of preparations or excitement or both.
Expecting a future event or thing to be a certain way is almost never helpful. Working toward a goal and anticipating contingencies is helpful. Be careful with that actual child or the one inside of you that you do not blur the lines. We are mindful not to make promises to children that we may not be able to fulfill. In fact we may inadvertently actually teach the child the notion of disappointment.
“I expect you to….” Is a set up for failure. “I hope you….” Is an encouragement. I believe it is a twelve step notion taken from somewhere else, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems”. If you think about it, it makes sense. It really lays waste to our disappointment due to failure to meet our expectations.
Now do not get mad at me that the first song here is so cliché’. But come on, how could you not like the innocent wisdom as portrayed by a real darling.
What Will Be, Will Be
Roses Should Be Cherished
We make choices all day all lifelong. Little choices and big choices. Choices that just effect us or effect many, both dependent and otherwise. We choose lovers. We choose professions. We choose “to be or not to be”. We choose action or inaction.
Our modern current cognitive psychologists even tell us that we can choose to be happy or sad no matter what the circumstance. Careful I am not putting a “should” there. Just that we can. I have been told that I am so lame that if you handed be a crap sandwich, I would thank you for it.
I am just a young 60 and I can look back at my choices that were very wrong. Some wreaking havoc on my life and those around me. Some causing broken relationships and some heading me towards bankruptcy. Some choices even have landed me on the wrong side of barred rooms.
Many many choices bring me to near regret. Others make me ashamed. Now of course I obviously have just plain dumb luck, God’s grace and some smarts so I have made more good than bad I suppose. But we are focusing on the bad here.
So there are consequences to these bad choices. One of those consequences can be disappointment. So if I go down that rabbit hole I can wallow in self-pity over the, could of, should of, would of part of life. If you think about it, that kind of rumination only happens when we are disappointed in our lot in life.
One has to kind of get into a bad space to start looking back in that negative way. And it gets a circular and snowball effect. Today I get all disappointed with something, so I look back at all my other disappointments which makes today’s disappointment grow larger.
So choices has two aspects. But with the same starting point. If I choose to be disappointed today then most likely I will choose to be disappointed about yesterday. In a very real way disappointment becomes a state of mind.
And the worst part here is the ultimate loss of hope. If I have no hope for the future then how can I be disappointed? And this then takes out a key element of a happy loving life. We must have all three, Faith Hope and Charity. The healthy person chooses not to be disappointed.
If All Is God's Will?
A Dead End Cliff
Let search for a situation in which disappointment is justified. We really have to be careful in this area because disappointment is a feeling. And any sentient person knows that it is wrong and harmful to discount or belittle another person’s feelings. This format works well because we are not addressing a certain person’s feelings and telling them that they are wrong to have those feelings. We are talking in the abstract. I suppose if I did insist that someone’s disappointment were wrong and that they should not feel that way, that may be one justified disappointment in myself. And that kind of brings us to a point.
Effort and caring are the antagonists of apathy and apathy is the opposite of love. And when we say we are not apathetic and yet do nothing about something we are hypocrites. We cannot proclaim our caring and not act upon it. This notion that we care about the hungry but do not donate time, money or food does the word caring a great disservice. This idea of “but what can I do?” is hogwash.
I think we are coming around to the idea that being apathetic should disappoint us in us. I have a favorite octogenarian neighbor. She actually donates time to her church, I think in the food pantry. There is much love in this world. Love is a verb foremost and a noun secondarily. Love requires action.
I am a writer and I write about our need for sharing love and that is doing something. But if that is all I do for a week then I am weak. And that would take me back to choices because I am not weak I have to choose to be weak.
Maybe not for you but for me I find that I am justified in being disappointed in myself if I do not make an effort to make a difference in a positive light. If I spew that I love yet do not act in a loving way that is a disappointment.
(I hope this article did not disappoint you ;-)