"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
20 March 2008
The Nature of Disappointment
"You disappoint me." Pellagrina to Edward in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Lately I have been giving a fair amount of thought to the nature of disappointment - why it happens, how to handle it and so on...
I think I have figured out that disappointment equals expectations minus reality. If you expect someone to act a certain way for whatever reason, perhaps your initial impression of a person was that they are strong and confident, intelligent and compassionate, and later you find that your first impression, as first impressions often are, was well, a little off - you will likely find yourself disappointed.
It isn't fair though - to form expectations based on first impressions. And honestly I suppose it isn't fair to have expectations of anyone other than yourself. People are who they are. Expecting them to be anything other than their authentic self is just not fair. Just as you would never expect a wolf to not howl at the moon, you must not expect someone to be strong and confident if that is just not who they are. It is not fair to them.
Someone once told me that the more painful something is, the greater the lesson to be learned. Big lesson here. BIG lesson.