Thursday, 16 August 2012

Expectations, laziness and forgiveness

If you inspire me or teach me in any small way, I will forgive you a multitude of sins. Friends say this makes me a doormat. In fact, a lot of the time, you don’t even need to have inspired me. I feel that it means my priorities are to spend energy learning rather than attempting to reform others by shouting at them when they are crap.

If you are a dear friend, I'm likely to give you some tough love when you are crap. But if you are exiting my life, I always instinctively go uncharacteristically quiet and opt for forgiveness and acceptance. Quiet forgiveness allows me to conserve my own energy to go on improving myself. Is this selfish? Does this mean I am exhibiting a lack of responsibility? By not feeling the need to spew negativity every time someone disappoints me, am I affirming and enabling that person's poor behaviour and therefore being a lazy member of society?

And isn't disappointment just an inevitable product of expectations? I always try not to place expectations upon people. I expect people to keep to their word, and that’s about it. It’s kind of Buddhist, actually. A quick google of “Buddhism Expectations” returned this, and many other hits:

“Another slant on this is lower your expectations. Quit expecting so much out of everyone, even yourself. Show and feel compassion for yourself and others. Live in the current moment and enjoy it! Realize the truth that you and everyone else is imperfect.

“Now, lower your expectations in a realistic way, don't settle for less because it is easier, or you have low self-esteem, or that you are lazy. Correct these conditions, and you can, then move forward.”

Still – how do you “lower your expectations in a realistic way” and know you’re not being lazy or insecure?

Time to start meditating?