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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %REFLEXIVE ANTICIPATE EXPECTATION DEMAND DISCIPLINE 890713 We say we anticipate something will happen when we expect it to happen; i.e., we predict on the basis of previous experience that in the natural course of events some particular event will take place. We may wait with confidence for it to happen without playing any role in its occurrence. We expect the sun to rise in the morning. We have no role in the sun rising, we just watch. We may say we expect something will happen due to natural laws when we do some particular thing; e.g., we expect an object will fall if we let go of it. We set up conditions which lead to it falling, we do not cause the falling. We expect that when certain conditions are met certain consequences will follow. Such is the nature of natural laws. We do not coerce objects to behave as they do, even when we set the stage for the objective events to occur naturally. When a good friend tells us that they will do a certain thing for us, we reasonably expect that they will. We trust our friend to fulfill the promise because of the nature of our friend. There is nothing coercive in the expectation. A military commander tells his troops to attack at a certain time, place and in a certain way; and in the nature of military organization he reasonably expects that the troops will obey the order. The expectation is that the command will be obeyed, and there will be consequences if it is not obeyed. The expectation is coercive, not anticipatory. A professor makes an assignment in a college class and in the nature of the situation expects students to do the work assigned. There is an element of coercion in the expectation; and there will be consequences if the assignment is not done by a negligent or rebelling student. The student will receive an unfavorable grade. An employer gives an employee instructions and expects that they employee will carry out the instructions; there is an agreement that instructions will be carried out in return for wages to be paid. The expectation is based upon a contract mutually agreed to. The competitor in an athletic contest expects to win and works hard to win; yet may not, and knows she may not. This is yet another kind of expectation. We get on an airplane and expect to get safely to our destination; yet we know we may be killed in a plane crash. We expect to be safe, but we may not be safe. These expectations are diverse and complicated enough, yet there are even more complicated kinds of expectation involved in subtle interpersonal relationships where reflexive considerations are important even though unconscious. We may expect our friends and associates to do what we hint that they should do. We may in subtle ways manipulate each other and expect each other to yield to our manipulative maneuvers. Such expectations are usually coercive and entail subtle threats. We may not, however, expect the disintegrative consequences of our personal manipulations. We may expect that we can, on our own, stop smoking, drinking too much, using drugs, etc.; but our expectations may be based upon an unrealistic appraisal of our powers. We may be expecting the impossible. We may expect that we can control our own behavior by our own will power alone, even when we can not. Our expectations may be uninformed, unreasonable and dishonest. We may expect that we can control the thoughts, feelings, and/or behavior of others; when it is unreasonable and dishonest to do so. We cannot control children, mates, students, employees, voters, politicians, etc. as much as we often pretend that we can or should. Often we are not honest in our expectations of ourselves or of others. Much of what happens in an addictive/codependent society has to do with the variety of expectations: be they well informed, coercive, reasonable, reflexive, objective, honest, dishonest, etc. It is difficult to think clearly about these subtle matters of interpersonal relationships because we do not have a very rich vocabulary with which to make unambiguous reference to each of the different kinds of expectations and anticipations; and we cannot make clear reference to the consequences of having such expectations and anticipations. When we do not have words with which to point clearly to differences, we often do not pay adequate attention to such differences. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================