Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.
Alice Walker, author [“The Colour Purple”];
she was born on this date, 1944, in Eatonton GA
“Expect nothing.” This is the other side of at least three coins. One is Love. Another is Generosity. A third is Self-appreciation.
From experience, I would have to say that certain characteristics are either given to certain folks, or that all of us have the capacity for everything in our makeup and it’s up to the genes and to Life what “appears”. Perhaps a Christian would say that it is a “grace”.
I was born, I am convinced, with the grace of Expecting Nothing …... in return. Since I was little, I have been willing to do things for people, willing also to give away my things to people, without expecting something in return. My mother finally told me that she would give me birthday gifts – and that I should choose them myself – only if I promised not to give them away. I accepted the condition to honour her ….. but it was hard!
Later on, in my 20’s and 30’s, I discovered that some Mystery was afoot. I discovered that authentic Love demanded “Expect Nothing”. I discovered that Generosity demanded “Expect Nothing”. I discovered that Self-appreciation demanded Expect Nothing. Love and Generosity were their own reward; and Self-appreciation could only come from within. All three had no Truth otherwise.
But for me it has been “cheap grace”, because I didn’t have to learn this, and it has never been difficult. Oh, I’ve had to struggle to choose to love, to be generous, and to value myself! But I’ve never had to struggle to Expect Nothing. I have often wondered why. And, it's made it easier by far!
I think it has to do with the Mystery called God. I heard a lot about God when I was young and through the years. A lot of it was “negative”. I never believed it. I have always thought that God gave freely, and Expected Nothing in return, though was delighted if there was. More Cheap Grace? How did I know that God was Love, Generosity, Compassion, Showerer of Blessings, Kindness, Always There for me? Because of the pre-condition of Self-appreciation? That was a surprise.
I for the most part – except when I’m feeling sorry for myself – live frugally on surprise. Except that I often am able to live above frugal!
I hope there are many like me. That you are one of them.