Friday, January 20, 2006

151. on expectation

Expectations. Today, my band was supposed to pay for this pre-Hula Bowl event. We're not sure who dropped the ball, but long story short, we didn't play.

I can't speak for the other guys in my band, but as for myself, I really wasn't that bummed about it. I mean I would have liked to play and it's screwed up that I had to haul all my gear out to the Aloha Stadium (and pay $5 for parking) only to be told that it was a no go. I probably had the right to be really pissy and I could have thrown a hissy fit but it wasn't that big of a deal to me and so it was pretty easy to write off. The people who got us the gig and the lady with the Hula Bowl seemed a lot more upset with the situation than I was (the event was organized by some Christian group called Livin It).

And I was thinking about this on the drive home. I don't know if it's a bad thing or a good thing, but I don't have a lot of expectations in my life, at least not anymore. It amazes me, watching a show like Airline where you see customers with crazy, unreasonable demands. I mean some people can't understand why the plane left without them when they were only ten minutes late. These are probably the same people who, if the shoe were on the other foot, would be complaining about late departure times had they shown up an hour before departure time and gotten on board and then had to wait for a late passenger. And it's not like these people just accept that the plane left, it's like they expect the plane to turn around, taxi back to the gate, and pick them up. They get all nuts yelling discrimination, reverse discrimination, unfair this, and unfair that.

There are times when I actually can't watch that show because of people like that. Seeing that makes me so angry because they have no one to blame but themselves yet they're blaming everyone but themselves. I don't understand people like that. I don't know if it was my Asian upbringing or if it's the laid-back style of life in Hawaii or the turn-the-other-cheek philosophy from Christianity, but I have kind of a zero-expectation policy and so when I show up to a gig and the gig falls through, well, that's that. Yes, I wasted half my day, yes I used up a vacation day, yes I had to load up my drums in my station wagon, yes I had to drive out to the gig, yes I had to pay $5 for parking, yes I had to wait around the at event for two and a half hours before finally being told that things weren't going to work out and we weren't going to play. Yes to all of those things, but it wasn't that big of a deal for me.

And I think of my date with (code name) Apples (see blog 90 and 92). I didn't expect a lot out of the date and so when it wasn't diamonds and pearls, I wasn't disappointed. And I think of the last two concerts I went to (Motley Crue and Beethoven's 9th Symphony - see blogs 131 and 137). I didn't expect them to be great and so when the Crue concert was less than stellar, I didn't mind and when the Beethoven concert blew me away, it was a thrilling surprise.

And I think about Buddhist philosophy and how (as I understand it) it promotes a life free from desire. See, the Buddha came to understand that all suffering came from desire and so a life free from desire would be free of suffering.

But I don't think desire and expectation are the same thing. Desire implies hope, while expectation implies necessity - that things have to be a certain way in order to be satisfied. See, that date with Apples. I asked her out based partly on a desire to find a meaningful relationship, but I didn't expect the date to end that way. I don't know, it's pretty clear in my mind but I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well.

I mean, I think the Buddhists go too far when they try to rid themselves of desire. Without desire, what's the point? Desire is fuel for the engine of life.

Watch people on any flight out of Vegas. You can see the difference in the faces of those who had a desire to win, and those who expected to win.

I don't know, maybe I'm just blowing semantic smoke. Maybe I should expect more out of life, or at least expect to be treated with more respect. I don't know. In the end, I yam what I yam.

1 comment:

m said...

Have you forgotten that "fuel for the engine of life" is exactly what Buddhists don't want? They want to end the cycle, because "all of life is suffering."