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How much of our disappointment in life is the result of unrealized expectations? The best example is a student walking into math class asking, “What are we doing today?”

As you might expect, my response is, “Math. This is a math class.” But it causes me to wonder about a wide variety of expectations.

When students walk into my classroom, what exactly are their expectations? If they anticipate walking into a class to find a Mary Poppins character who will bubble and chirp all over them, I am set up for conflict. Likewise, if they expect a dispassionate, disconnected and disinterested observer, they will likewise be under served.

This reflection causes me to wonder if my life and those lives closest to me could be enhanced by pondering expectations? Maybe it depends on the type.

For example, if students expect me to be severe and harsh, how does that impact my presentation? Most likely, not at all. But if they expect me to be cheerful and pleasant, how does my matter-of-fact attitude, added to cheerful and pleasant, impact outcomes?

Ultimately, we all do what our inside scripts direct us to do. Many of us have had serious clarification about right and wrong, respect for the property and boundaries of others and a general understanding of good sense.

Maybe that’s the key. Our expectations must be established on logic and the golden rule. Aberrations and exceptions are antithetical to what we expect but remain worthy of revision. Shalom.


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