Letters to the Editor: Dec. 8, 2021

The Shawnee News-Star

'Contrived and natural expectations'

Dear editor,

Living as a mature adult, one who says only what he intends to do, and conversely does not say what he has no intention of doing, comes with requirements grounded in reality, three of which could be the following:

1) Being at peace,

2) Walking humbly, 

3) Repeating 1 and 2

I wonder, do we face reality only in occasional private moments, if then? Are we truthful only when the moment occasions it, if then? Do we seek the truth, or do we keep everything on a surface level? Do we abide in peace or play the image game? Can anyone have any peace when his expectations are frustrated or when his obligations are confused? With expectations these days piled up like a burial mound and obligations dug down like a mine shaft, is it any wonder there's so much anger and resentment and distrust in our society? It seems to me that rage and violence are with us, that addiction and disease are with us, that prejudice and fear are with us for several reasons, three of which could be the following:

1) We are unhappy.

2) We run ourselves ragged.

3) We persist with 1 and 2.

Those who believe that their expectations are entitlements are headed for lives of problems and loneliness. Habits of rage and selfishness sprout from them like nettles and thorns. And when enraged individuals don't get what they think they deserve, they sometimes go ballistic, whether they're at work, in class, watching television, behind the wheel. God be with us when we cross paths with such confused and dangerous people. 

Yet there are indeed natural expectations, and they have place. They're those wholesome life-forces compelling us to adopt healthy habits, seek true friends, nurture close family, work honorably. Moreover, there are contrived expectations with no place, compelling us to forego the pursuit for health, friends, family, work. They're those unwholesome life-forces enhancing the quest for image and fueling a foolish pride.

Pride might be that manifestation, that demonstration, that confirmation of self-love with all that self-love's spontaneous efforts toward self-aggrandizement and taking.

Humility might be that conception, that desire, that need for love with all of that love's efforts, both spontaneous and considered, toward selflessness and giving. 

It's too much to expect children to know the distinctions between contrived and natural expectations. It's not too much to expect from mature adults.

Larry Inman