Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Do We Expect Too Much From Others?

One of the morning habits in our house is hubby reading to me the Pickles comic strip in the morning paper.  You see, hubby reads newspapers from beginning to end.  He keeps current, he keeps informed.  I, on the other hand, read headlines.  Interesting ones get read, others do not.  You now know which of us is "up on things" and which one is not.

Pickles is a comic strip about a retired couple in their 70's.  Earl and Opal Pickles are retired and show life as it really is.  Brian Crane fashioned the comic strip after his in-laws.  Earl is bald, wears glasses and has a white mustache.  Opal is the pleasingly plump wife, who oftentimes wears polka-dotted dresses and sneakers.

This was yesterday's strip.....

"Opal:  Earl, did you pick up my dry cleaning like I asked?
Earl:  Oops, sorry, it slipped my mind.  Are you mad at me?
Opal:  No, I'm just disappointed that you didn't do what you said you'd do.
Earl:  (putting his arm around Opal) I think the key to having fewer disappointments in life is to lower your expectations."

Bells ring on that one, don't they?  All we ever seem to do is harp on one another, blame, scold for either doing something, or not doing something.  Our minds fashion "the way a person oughta be," and then if that person doesn't match up to our expectations, we get all crazy and start throwing spears.  We are all guilty of this at one time or other, and we need to be realistic and remember no two of us are alike.  Our Creator designed every single one of us to have annoying quirks and jerks, each unique to the Self.  Doesn't it stand to reason that when we criticize someone, we're criticizing Our Creator as well?

The Pickles comic is a good reminder for us to be more patient and accepting.  Just because we think something should be one way, that doesn't make it the right way.  Maybe if we do lower our expectations of others, we'll be happier and less twisted and tangled in self-induced stress.  Just like Earl, sometimes I forget to do things.  Just like Opal, I'm quick to be disappointed.  But, turn the situation around, and, man, am I ever grateful when I get understanding and kindness in return.  Every detail of life is a 2-way street.  What we give, we get.  What we don't give, we don't get.  It's that simple.


Pearl Collar that Belonged to My Aunt