Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zero Expectations

You start off in life thinking the best of people because you don't know any better.

My 7 year old son was upset the other day after school because a kid in his class said he has a "stinky house".

I asked my son, "He hasn't ever been to our house, has he?"


"Do you think our house is stinky?"


"So why did you get upset? As long as you are happy with your house, do you really care what he thinks?"


But he does. And I care that he cares, and so it hurts.

Teaching him not to care, and more importantly to teach him not to at least show that he cares, is going to be tough.

Growing up sucks. It sucks even more when you have explain these things to your kid, who so far seems to think everyone is going to be nice to him if he is nice to them.

It is especially hard to teach when it's something which I am still learning to do and coming to terms with.

Many adults are not pleasant either, even if you try to be nice to them. They may be able to pretend for a while. Eventually however, you realize people have all kinds of issues and hang-ups.

We all form our first impressions of people when we meet them. We may change those in subsequent meetings but personally mine don't usually change (because I am awesome and usually right, as my long-suffering husband will tell you.)

Generally people are not particularly nice. All that talk of believing in the best of people and how humans are inherently good in nature is incorrect. The sooner you realize that, the better it is. That way you have no expectations of anyone. And nor should you.

Ultimately everyone is too self-involved and consequently selfish. Everyone has their own lives too lead and too many problems of their own, however big or small they may be, to be bothered with yours.

Yes they may still pretend to care and ask after you and yours in a superficial way. And that is good enough.

You have to meet many people in your life, who you may not like. Being civil and behaving in a pleasant manner is something you have to do. But even expecting basic civility from some is possibly asking too much.

I generally try to be pleasant to people (even the ones I don't like). At the same time, being pretty straight-forward, if that person cannot do the same, then I will also drop the civilities.

An eye for an eye. (Some probably deserve to have an an eye gouged out anyway.)

Lesson learned is, do not have any expectations of anyone.

It won't hurt that way. 

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