I have a new favorite app for my iPhone...Shakespeare quotes. You can do one a day, or you can shake the phone and get a new one anytime you feel like it. Some days, I limit myself to one. Other days, I just keep shaking.
I took a class in college devoted entirely to the works of Shakespeare, and I enjoyed it. I think maybe I was too young then to really appreciate the man's genius. Forget the lyrical combination of words and the plots we've been rehashing for 400 years. Shakespeare had the soundbite mastered before it was even invented.
I'm amazed at how often a single line taken out of context makes me stop and ponder. Take the title of this blog post.
Expectation is the root of all heartache.
Of course it is. The very definition of heartache is when reality fails to live up to one's expectations. We don't often think of heartache that way, but there it is...
Does that mean if I lower my expectations, I can avoid heartache? Probably. Should I lower my expectations to avoid heartache? Probably not.
Heartache beats expectation out of some people. They experience something so painful they're unwilling to expect very much out of love, work, family, friends, or anything else that gives life meaning. Expectation is risky.
However, if expectation is the root of all heartache, then it's also the root of all joy, right? Heartache happens when reality doesn't live up to expectation. Sometimes, reality meets or even exceeds expectation. So, while expectation is risky, it's also absolutely necessary for happiness. How can reality exceed our expectations if we don't have any?
Deep thoughts on a Saturday, courtesy of a shake of my iPhone.