‘He walked on, the sack on his shoulders a mere trivial, avoidable distraction. The future in sight, the path beneath his feet, and a journey towards his goals to look forward to..’
The world around us has built up a compilation of needs and demands that it wishes to extract from an individual, and has subtly named it expectations. So much so, that a person accepts, emulates and passes on the ideology without thinking about either the repercussions or pretext. Expectations vary from the realistic to the unrealistic; helpful to damaging; beneficial to borderline sadist. And the most common purpose of expecting? To be satisfied. In whatever manner – emotionally, financially, socially or materialistically.
‘Walking on, on the horizon he could see his house. Home. Perhaps he could take a siesta there. He walked on. His parents and siblings were at the door, expecting him. He greeted them, asked them to let him rest a little. “No, son. You have duties to observe, education to do, job to get, and money to make. After all, you are my son, and you have to live up to me.” his dad said. “Father’s right,” his mother echoed. “If you aren’t stable, how can you support us in our old age? You must strive, you must prosper. That’s the least we can expect, can’t we dear?” The sack on his shoulders got substantially heavier.’
Everyone expects something from us, and in return we expect something from everyone. It has become an unwritten rule, seldom challenged. The rule doesn’t care about fairness, it just expects you to expect. Is it rarely a surprise that the people closest to you expect the most – whilst the relative strangers offer you more space? Many a times also happens the case that the most near ones do not expect much, but that’s seldom because of the right reasons. For it is often our own who underestimate us the most. The expectations in such situations do not really vanish, they just transform. They turn into expectations of hoping that you finally grow into someone they can expect other, greater, better things from. Yet, it’s the love that exists that stops the imbalance from going haywire, and in the end, a family strives towards overall satisfaction – where everyone’s expectations are fulfilled..
‘He trudged on, trying to ignore the weight on his shoulders. Halfway through his journey, he had met a bunch of old friends he had inconvenienced by focusing on his career, and his targets. They had accused him of being selfish, and said what they had demanded was expected of a friend. He also came across the girl he loved, who expected to marry a different man in him. His shoulders were beginning to ache, and the weight was not ignorable anymore.’
The expectations of friends, whenever goes demanding and damaging is termed as peer pressure. Yet, peer pressure can be positive too. What do you do if your friends tell you not to give into peer pressure? A troublesome scenario with circles and friendships – people come, people go. Memories remain. Even the scars, the bruises and the wounds. The revolving door can get so painful to watch, the loneliness biting away. It would be like drowning in your own heart; slowly suffocating in your own blood, and the only way out would be to drill a hole and escape. Yet, on come a few who are meant to stay, who mean to stay and who do stay. They repair the holes, the wounds and bruises, drain the bad blood from your heart. And then, the satisfaction follows..
‘His pace had gotten slower, and the pain was massive. He couldn’t keep a straight face, and looked around. Others seemed to be in discomfort too, but made a better effort to hide it. Or maybe they weren’t under so much weight after all..’
Everybody is expected to expect, and we come to expect our expectations. Yet expectations of most are unique, their burdens specific. Often times I’ve looked at people on the street and thought I’d be jealous of at least one thing each of them have if I knew their tale. Then I realise that if I did know their tale, I’d be glad for a thousand things in my own life. That’s how satisfaction seeps in. It’s the weighing scale of expectations pending and expectations satisfactorily fulfilled that needs to be balanced. Naturally, some expectations are going to be left untouched and unfulfilled. And the ones fulfilled will soon be forgotten. That’s the malice of this game, and everyone drinks of this chalice. Satisfaction is not a matter of receiving, it is a function of giving. Fulfilling expectations gives more satisfaction than getting your expectations fulfilled. Yet it is never one way, and the balancing of incomplete expectations and satisfactorily fulfilled expectations’ scale has to be to way. The thumb rule or the motto should be, ‘You fulfill one, I do the same. Together, we abandon some, and stay in a healthy relationship.’
‘His body couldn’t take it anymore. He collapsed at the place which was his destination, whether he liked it or not. This was definitely not the place he set out to reach. He never realised, that the weight he kept on adding on his shoulders gradually drifted him away. He could sense the reaper on his way, and thought; “They expected and expected.. and I strived to fulfill them,” he mused; finally turning his withered face away, “but it is I, who dies truly unsatisfied.”