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Another Idiot

I am finding out,

that too often,

I am disappointed in my fellow men and women.


I have too high of expectations for them.


I expect,

when we make plans with each other

when we make promises

when we say things to each other,

that the majority will follow through.


Life is teaching me that I am in the minority.


I am learning,

through experiences with other people,

to lower my expectations.

And maybe,

if I lower my expectations,

I will avoid the pain that comes with the disappointment.


I have always held myself to the same standard

that I hold other people to.


I try to keep my word

I try to follow through

I try to be on time

And

I try to be understanding.


But if I lower my expectations for my fellow man,

then isn’t it within reason,

to lower my expectations for myself?


Maybe I shouldn’t keep my word?

Maybe I shouldn’t show up on time?

Maybe I shouldn’t follow through?


If I do this,

then I will not be on the receiving end of disappointment.

And since the majority already behave this way,

if that’s the standard they hold themselves to,

then they probably won’t be disappointed in me when I bail;

When I lie

When I betray

When I hold out for better plans

When I treat them,

like they treat me.


Then they have no right to hold me

to a higher standard that they hold for themselves,


right?


So I will stop trusting

So I will stop believing in them

So I will stop being optimistic

So I will lower my standard for us


and I will not be as hurt by them.


It is a natural adaptive response to my environment.


That’s what we do,

don’t we?

That’s our biology,

isn’t it?


We adapt to survive

and that is exactly what I am doing here.


I can’t continue to live

with this naive optimism for my fellow humans.


It is time to put these childish rationals to bed.

It is time to look at other people through the lens of an adult.


It’s time to stop being,

what a particular Russian novelist would call,


an Idiot.


-C.H.




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