Sunday, 27 January 2013

A life of expectations: The criteria for a good book

The criteria for what constitutes a good book are pretty much the same for all of us... but what most people don't realize is that our "criteria" present themselves after you finish a book, not before. Before come our "expectations."

Each book is a brand new experience and you cannot have criteria for a new experience, it's impossible. A book is not like an apple, when every time you have one there is a criterion on what it should taste like. The day you bite an apple and it tastes like an orange will be the day there will be no more criteria on how an apple should taste like. Criteria are stable factors and common nature. What we so often find shadowing our judgement prior to a new experience is the concept of expectations, which are of infinite nature, change drastically from person to person and are usually completely meaningless because their creation was based on a different experience in the past and not on the one you are experiencing now. If my book fails to meet the expectations of someone who a week ago has read e.g 'Twilight,' it's because that person's expectations of that book have been laid on my shoulders to carry this week. But someone else with different expectations might read my book and be amazed by it. If you ask both what defines for them a "good book," they'll more or less mention the same attributes. "It's entertaining, it has originality, touches me emotionally" etc. The reason they don't share the same opinion about the same book, even though they had the same criteria, is because they went into it with very different expectations.

This phenomenon of fixed criteria but constantly changing expectations, if you pay close attention to your everyday life you will identify it as the root of many social problems, and perhaps the main reason why so many relationships today are led to an impasse.

Criteria tell you that for a relationship to work, there has to be love, mutual respect, communication.
Expectations tell you that a gesture of love is to be given something in gold or silver, forcing your lover to compromise constantly is a sign of respect and less than 20 text messages per day counts as a lack of communication.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live a life of expectations...would you?

1 comment:

  1. I agree to the last dot. I seriously disbelieve in cookie cutters classes.