Posted in Of Psyche

Of Faith and Expectations


Someone once told me, “have faith in people, not expectations.” I must admit the source isn’t very creditable – it was my birthday horoscope in the newspaper. It also told me I am naturally charming enough and don’t need to impress people. Which most thoroughly proves the prediction wrong. But, while I try to remind myself the second in social situations ( just because it is bogus doesn’t mean it isn’t good advice ), I am still trying to work out how to do the first. How can you not have expectations out of people? When I am buying bread, I expect the shop assistant to provide me with my loaf as quickly as possible. I don’t stand there for what seems like hours, having faith in him to furnish me with it whenever he chooses to. If he keeps me waiting, I feel disappointed and go to the next shop selling the same with fewer customers. Okay, not really. My need to avoid unpleasantness stretches to never displeasing negligent shop assistants ( even if they don’t treat me with the same regard ) and I will stand there for hours. But, I assure you, it isn’t faith that makes me do so.

And while that was an easy enough relationship, what about the ones that stretch beyond general rules of human courtesy? What about the ones that actually involve emotions and a certain amount of sharing each others’ lives? How is it possible not to naturally expect things out of them? Isn’t the faith you have in them that compels you to expect, no questions asked? I won’t be providing any examples from my personal relationships as I prefer to keep them private. But, in my experience, faith and expectations go hand in hand. I usually find it difficult to ask for help. I don’t know if that is the way I was raised or just the way I am but, I’d rather give something a good try before asking someone to help me out with it. It isn’t self-sufficiency. I don’t believe such a thing exists or can be easily aspired for. We need people, even if we don’t express that need in obvious ways. And that is faith.

When you have faith in somebody, you believe they are honest and generous enough to want to see you as you really are. As adults we all have those fake conversations with people we only have professional ( or the literal version of charitable ) relations with. You know who I’m talking about. Like the person who calls you up to support a charity and you don’t know if it’s a fraud. You don’t want to hang up because then you would believe you’re an awful person. Also, you might feel generous towards the enthusiastic person on the other end who is doing their job because they believe in it, unlike others who call you offering jobs or lottery prizes. They are more anxious to hang up than you are. But, the former has an entire speech ready to tug at your heartstrings until you shell out the moolah. Take my advice: listen to them, tell them you’ll check their website and then hang up. Even though it is more cruel than hanging up immediately, you gave the person exactly what they asked for in the first place, your time and understanding. It is up to you to find out if it is legit and only then donate in your own time and will.

You see, it’s not so easy to dish out faith. So, when you do, you do it because you can expect things out of it. I can’t bring myself to comply with the caller from the charity organisation because I’ve been let down in the past too many times by people who asked for the same but did not keep their end of the bargain. By having faith in them which they themselves helped instill by their persuasive resolve at nobility, they let my expectations down by not using the money for what they promised. Therefore, ultimately, despite what poorly creditable astrological predictions might say, you can’t have expectations out of people without having faith in them and vice-versa. Even for certain people who haven’t been good to me in the past. I had faith in them enough to know that that is what I can expect of them. Perhaps, I wavered for a moment and let myself believe they wouldn’t act on these negative expectations, which is the opportunity they seized to prove I was right all along.

I don’t think my opinions on this subject will prove popular among the nice people who read my blog. Most importantly, I have not spoken about the people I love and whether I have faith or expectations or both in them. I can’t tell you, because it is too delicate and important to me. As I said, I rarely ask for help, so there isn’t much chance for the people I love to deliver on my expectations of them, if I have them in the first place. I can answer more positively about faith, because to me faith is equivalent to love. I cannot question my faith in these people because I cannot question my love in them either. I love fully, unreservedly, faithfully and that is all.


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

5 thoughts on “Of Faith and Expectations

  1. Good subject! I believe we do set expectations and in return, we are ever disappointed. We need to give without expecting the outcome of what we have given. If we give money to a charity, we are not in charge and have no say in where the money goes. Therefore, it may not be the charity you are looking for if they are not handling the money in a matter which you believe it should be.

    Once you release the obstacle of expectations, giving becomes more fruitful. No easy task! I am struggling with situations in many different parts of my life. I struggle everyday to give and not expect something in return or to control the situation. (I’m a bit OCD and a control freak)

    I search every day for the peace of letting go! Give and you will receive…maybe not in the way you expect but you will receive!

    1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment! It is very hard not to expect so it is commendable that you make the effort to do so! I personally find it difficult to have faith in things I’m not sure of ( by being too logical ). Therefore, through much heartache and disappointment I’ve learnt to do things only if they are important to me. Thus, even if my expectations are disappointed, I cannot regret because I would have done it anyway whatever the outcome. With charity, I do make it a point to see my expectations are met because there is too lucrative a business using that excuse to make money, where so many go without any help. However, in the off chance that someone has managed to melt me and help them out monetarily, I try not to think about it later using the same logic as before.
      Thanks again for reading!

  2. It’s so easy to set these expectations for people, mostly because they’re probably expectations that you have for yourself. I expect quality and kindness from myself, so shouldn’t I expect it from others?

    Then again, you do get suspicious of others and what their intentions are. It’s just the way it is. We don’t want to give ourselves to something we don’t 100% know about or even trust. But I think that I probably fall under what you called “nice people,” since I like to believe the best in everyone. Maybe it’s because being positive is better for me and my health, haha. I think that, after being disappointed for a while, I still find myself having faith in others.

    Except for telemarketers. I shoot them down within 30 seconds of the call. 😛

    1. Ha ha, wow! I find it difficult to do that, even if I try. I think it is easier to have faith and consequently, expectations when you yourself are open to the person. Which is why you do it anyway. As you rightly said, we expect the same things we ourselves possess. Thus, if someone finds themselves to have behaved irresponsibly in the past, they lower their expectations of people behaving responsibly towards them. And as you said again, it is the way it is.
      I think it’s best to have some sort of a default position of only having faith in yourself to operate with everyone as openly and authentically as possible. Whether they reciprocate shouldn’t ultimately matter.
      Thanks for reading!

      1. You’re right – you’re only in control of having faith in yourself to act in such a way that is authentic and open. I’ve heard people say that with certain things, it’s a two-way street, but you’re only responsible for your side.

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