Disappointment is an inevitable part of the human condition. We have been gifted by foresight – it was a useful tool for a creature who couldn’t really compete with most of the other creatures of the world. We had a big brain but nothing much else – even an angry Billy goat could take most of us out – so the ability to look ahead and plan (and look at the date on this link) and then make use of the devices we had imagined with our big brains is pretty much what let us survive and eventually get to the top of the food chain.
While foresight is particularly useful for avoiding danger, it is not what most of us use it for now. After all, the likelihood of encountering a bear (or even an angry Billy goat) in the urban core is pretty remote and while some people would have us believe we are in constant danger of attack from our fellow man, unless you are actually in a war zone or a failed state, the evidence simply doesn’t bear it up.
So most of us use our evolutionary powers of foresight to daydream – to imagine all the wonderful things that might come our way if we are just smart enough or sneaky enough or work hard or be sexy enough. We set expectations at different levels depending on how big our dreams are or how confident we are in ourselves or our close circle.
Sometimes we get everything we dream of and we reward ourselves by feeling it is not quite enough and so we set our goals even higher. But all too often life fails to deliver on even our modest objectives or, worse, seems about to deliver, when chance or the malicious actions of others seem to snatch it all away.
Of course it was never anything more than a dream anyway. The future is far too variable for even the brightest and most prepared to know what will really result. Lots of people think they are in control but often what you find is that they are simply fortunate enough to be born to rich parents or to be oblivious to life’s nasty tricks.
Disappointment. It’s really all our fault anyway. If only we could learn to take things as they come, make lemonade when life gives us lemons. That would be nice I guess. Though I have to say – I’ve always found lemonade to be overrated.
And that’s ten minutes.