Expecting Happiness

People will disappoint us. 

This is part of life. 

Sometimes it will be the people we know and trust. 

Other times it will be people we have never met, but in whom we had some degree of hope, faith, or confidence. 

The common factor is expectation. 

The greater our expectations, the more we have the potential to be let down. 

Expectations are normal, however. 

It is natural to expect good from others. 

If we stop wanting or hoping for good from the people around us or from the world at large, we begin to lose our humanity. 

Optimism is part of what makes our lives worthwhile. 

It is part of what makes us different from other animals. 

We have the ability to hope, to desire, and to look toward and try to influence the future. 

If we want to maintain our humanity, we have to keep our expectations intact, but, if we want to live a life that is not constantly disappointing, we must also keep our expectations in check. 

We have to find a way to be realistic without being cynical, to be hopeful without being naive, and to be optimistic without being foolish. 

We need to find a way to be balanced in who we are, what we want or expect from others, and in how we react when things do not go the way we wish they would. 

The world is too large and other people’s desires, motives, and behaviors are too varied and unpredictable for our happiness to be solely contingent upon what other people say and do. 

Our happiness must be rooted in something consistent, reliable. and unwavering. 

It cannot be based on what we expect from others. 

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