Hope, Assumptions, and Expectations (Hint: Only One Is Good for You)
“You have got to have hope. But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud … You must not let your hope turn into expectation.” -Wendell Berry
Assumptions are typically unhelpful and can lead to disappointment. When we assume, we convert our own beliefs and perceptions into a general sense of how the world should be, if we only had our way. But sometimes the world has other ideas, and we’re left feeling disappointed when our assumptions prove untrue.
Expectations are also dangerous things. When we become attached to a particular outcome, we lose our sense of control and we tend to make poor decisions. What if our expectations are unmet? What if the outcome is deferred?
Hope, at least in its purest form, is different. If we convert hope to expectations, we set ourselves up for more disappointment. If we fail to hope, though, we do ourselves another disservice: we essentially stop believing in the possibility of good.
Lesson: You can let go of expectations without letting go of hope.