I have a confession to make. Although I am no longer a child, by a long shot, my behavior and mentality can often slip back into the naive and idealistic mindset of that of the little one who has not yet learned some crushing realities in this life.
It was like the young girl who views the shiny, large package under the Christmas tree for over a month.
By the way, this is a very sadistic thing for a family to do .To taunt a young mind when it is unable to look at anything without immediate, impulsive need for satisfaction. A dog is very similar. No canine could have a programmed mindset of delayed gratification, for instance when their owner leaves them 4 treats that could suffice the appetite over a few hour time span. The animal is not actually physically that hungry or in need of sustenance, yet it snatches each morsel as if it has not eaten for weeks. The child should not yet develop the need to delay their satisfaction in this way, especially when related to a “gift” of consumerism. The big and innocent eyes stare the package down for days and even weeks. When the guardian is not near, a few shakes, a few pokes might also ease the curiosity and entertain more possible outcomes. In the end, the child learns the most important lesson (although not intended by the parent) that expectation is one of the most devastating emotions to the human psyche. After analyzing the prize, when the moment of revelation comes and the decorative paper is ripped violently from the object, the big beautiful eyes look with confusion at the colorful toy. What is it? How will this give me all of those hoped for emotions of fulfillment of all of my needs? Perhaps I can entertain myself for a few hours, but certainly not for the rest of my life as I had imagined. And thus begins their understanding of let down and expectation
Adulthood is not absent of such lessons. Although, it would be hoped that most adults in their growth as spiritual, intellectual, and physical beings, would not get “wrapped up” in such expectations for the contents within a pretty package. Of course, they do not out grow it always.
When I gazed at the hand-made paper, it was so new to me. Such craftsmanship, certainly the contents were of the invaluable nature. I was told that I needed to wait to open the package. Not to wait for my birthday, or for Christmas, but a somewhat undefined time in the future. It felt a little unfair to my naïve and excited heart. However the gift giver was certainly there to offer many hints, and he was happy to allow me a shake on occasion. He gave me insights like, “this is everything you have ever wanted in your life.” “It aligns directly with everything you have ever held dear to your soul.” “When you imagine your, hopes, dreams, and future aspirations, the contents of this box falls completely within the bounds of those values.” Wow! Never have I held such a priceless gift in my hands. If the gift bearer is right, this could be what I have been searching for my whole life! “In addition, there is another prize within, here is a list of things you never could have even dreamed you wanted in your life, and they are also included right here! “
But, when he looked away, I was unable to resist. Small little fissures in the package wrapping allowed small glimpses into the contents. Wait, a minute. That doesn’t seem right. Perhaps it is just too small or my eyes are playing tricks on me? But it seems like everything promised within this very box is absent? In fact there are some alarming indications that the exact opposite is contained within the bounds of item in my hands. Although disappointing, perhaps it has been my experience on this planet to not harbor too high of expectations and thus walking away from the unopened present under the tree was not that difficult. When he asked me “why don’t you want to know what is inside any longer? You used to be so excited? Why have you changed?” I decided that he was so far into denial himself that it would be pointless to argue. When the gift giver fully believes that everything he is selling me is truly in a package he wrapped with his own hands, how will I convince him otherwise.
“Sorry, I am not interested. I guess I need something else than what is in there…”