Monday, May 22, 2017

Expect Or Accept...The Choice Is Yours

There are two basic ways of dealing with other people. One is to have expectations of them, the other is to accept them for who they are. It makes sense to expect certain responses when coping with your children or others you are in charge of, because you have the power to reprimand them. With those who do not feel indebted to you however, children and otherwise, accepting unpleasant responses from them can be difficult to say the least.

Case in point is an excerpt from August Wilson’s play “Fences”, when the youngest son asked his dad “How come you ain't never liked me?” What did the father say? “Liked you? Who the hell says I got to like you?”  It was obvious that the son did not expect that response, and accepting it was the furthest thing from his mind. Nevertheless, it pointed out how important it is to not expect something from anyone or anything over whom we have no control. 

So what do we have control over? Our choices. What we can do is to 1) take a little time out before making mood-altering decisions, and 2) ask ourselves if we are willing to accept the consequences of our actions. We want of course to believe that we know a person well enough to have certain expectations of them, but it’s always safer to consider our inability to control what they say and do.

Making an effort to accept whatever the outcome of our requests might be, is a choice that allows us an opportunity to better know two people… the other person and ourself. After all, we both had choices and our willingness to accept the outcome of whatever the other person’s choice might be, will help us to learn how to accept both the bitter and the sweet.

I have earnestly tried to keep my expectations of others in alignment with what I expect of myself. Life lessons have proven time and time again however, that what I want might be unreasonable because I’m only going to get what another is willing to give.

My intent now is to not ponder over why a person responds in the way they do, but to realize that this is just where they are at this point in their life, and that what I need to do is focus more on how willing and able I am to accept that fact. Easier said then done of course, but it’s what I’ve chosen to do, and thus far, when I’m able to do it, my life becomes much simpler, and all the people in it, a lot easier to deal with. 

I’ll holla…

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