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The Dangers of Expectations

Take a chance and see what will happen!

Expectations.

A simple word with heavy context behind it. Our perception of the things and people we interact with around us is the sum total of our previous experiences and perceived understanding of those occurrences. What you learned each time directly fuels your outlook. What you ‘expect’ of something come the next time.

Our expectations of people, places, things, and ideas are important. If you connect negative experiences to a particular person then guess what? Chances are you won’t be too excited on seeing them next time. The same with places that you go, things that you may eat, or even media that you watch or listen to; and that’s what makes expectations dangerous. Because if our opinion is misguided or cloudy it will ultimately have us miss out on great opportunities; or at the very least warp our judgement in outrageous ways.

This topic first came to me based off a conversation with a coworker. A very enthusiastic coworker who is a Star Wars fan.

Now, unless you live underneath a rock, you know that Rogue One comes out in a little over a week and that A LOT of people are worried about the direction of the movie and its story. It takes place during the events of the original trilogy and a supposed covert mission to acquire plans for the Death Star in hopes of determining a way to defeat it. At least that’s what I gathered from it because I purposely have avoided all information concerning the movie past the first trailer that came out last year; and that’s largely because I want to walk into the movie with as open a mind as possible. My coworker on the other hand, doesn’t feel that way.

On the other end of the spectrum, he’s heard quite a bit about the movie. Respectfully, he avoided sharing any details that would spoil my pristine ignorance of narrative but he has told me his concerns for Disney and the Star Wars property itself forgoing an engaging story with all the right twists and turns to instead cash in on our fan fever for as long as possible. His evidence? The prequel trilogy and the fact that Disney plans on scheduling a movie a year.

I’m not going to say that OG Star Wars fans didn’t have a right to be nervous given the quality of the prequel movies (although I do feel like people’s dissatisfaction for them is blown way out of proportion). But isn’t it better to just wait and see before you cry bloody murder and say it’s going to be terrible? Especially with Episode 7 releasing and proving to be at the very least a decent follow-up? Treating our child memories like prized Faberge Eggs has to stop.

Our memories and love for the original trilogy didn’t suddenly disappear when a new movie came out and we didn’t like it. Our memories are still there. Stop with the hyperbole; and if you’re like me and read countless novels expanding on the Old Republic, original trilogy, and new Jedi era, only to have them say that those events happened in a ‘separate timeline’ then have no fear. Your time isn’t invalidated. Those stories live on.

That’s not me giving Disney or LucasFilms an endorsement saying that things can’t ever go wrong. Of course not. No one is infallible. I’m a huge Marvel Comics reader and I acknowledge that not every Marvel movie was well made. But having inflated expectations for something to be as ‘good as you remember it’ will only give you diminishing returns in the long run.

I made this relate to Star Wars because of my love for it but it’s applicable to just about any circumstance. Why not approach new situations with an open mind ready to judge it based on its own individual merit? If the finger was reversed and pointed back at us, ready to judge us, would we be fine with someone bringing up everything we did five, ten, or maybe even fifteen years ago as the sole basis for who we are? Or could they simply just keep that in mind and base their judgement on who we are currently?

Approach things as they are and not where you want them to be. You’ll sleep a whole lot easier at night that way.

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