How Many People Can You Disappoint Today?

Flickr / Mathew Foster
Flickr / Mathew Foster

In third grade, my dad hit me when my teacher told him how many times I would make fun of her for being an “old lady.”

“But it’s the truth!” I tried to reason.

In the fourth grade, the police were summoned to the local toy store in Brunswick Square Mall because the manager of the store caught me stealing football cards. “Who is supposed to be watching you?” the policeman asked.

I had to find my grandparents for them. Their faces got really scared. Like someone was going to take them away.

“I’m sorry,” I said, crying. The police explained that not only was I stealing cards, but that I also lied about it when caught. They had to go through all the holes in my coat to find all pack of cards I stole.

“We’ve never had any encounters with the police in all of our lives!”

The silhouette of my mom in the doorway that night when I was trying to sleep, screaming: “This is going on your permanent record!” Which ended up being true. I felt really bad at constantly disappointing them.

And it didn’t stop. I got thrown out of graduate school. I lived with women my parents didn’t approve of. I never did a good job at any job I was hired to do.

One boss called me into his office to ask me: “Don’t you take any pride in your work?” after he found all sorts of errors that were about to be delivered to a customer.

Three jobs and two years later, another boss yelled at me: “Don’t you take any pride in your work?” β€” the day before I quit.

Disappointed in myself for one day not being able to feed my family.

Another time I helped one person sell his company for $41 million. He was happy so he let me invest his money. Yay!

On the first day I made him $50,000. I was happy because I was going to get to keep 20% of that. If I did that every day….money pornography!

On the second day, I lost him over a million dollars. I was afraid to call him. A million dollars that he had one day and then the next day he didn’t. Because of me.

I called my mommy. I was crying. She asked, “Can’t you get a job?” And I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t get a job. Who would hire me?

Some of my close family members no longer speak to me because of things I’ve revealed here. I don’t even know why. Every day it’s one of the first things I think about. The pain of that.

Some people who I thought were close friends no longer speak to me because of opinions I expressed here. I have to catch myself so i don’t argue with them in my head. I don’t want to argue at people in my head.

There’s seven billion people on this planet and the only way I hurt them is to impose my own choices on them. The only way I hurt ME is to impose my choices on others.

Imposing my expectations on others is like touching fire and expecting the other person to burn.

When I have no expectations of you, and you have no expectations of me, that’s the free world. That’s when we can create and love and choose and of course we will make mistakes along the way. The only way to prevent mistakes is to never be born.

The slave world is when everyone has an intricate spiderweb of expectations on everyone around them.

I try really hard not to have expectations. I want to live as if I’m visiting this planet for just a day and then I can never come back here.

But I have to constantly remind myself else I slip into that spider web.

On a subway when I first moved to NYC 20 years ago, making eye contact and smiling at the woman with the tattoo on her face sitting across from me, I’m sure my face and smile disappointed her. Who is this creepy guy?

But do that as much as possible and that’s how babies are born and life continues. TC mark

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