One learns in both Psychology 101 and Sociology 101 that one’s expectations influences what one finds.
We give tours here at MCH. If you or a group you are in would like to schedule a tour, please give me a call. The Development Department usually handles tour groups of adults, and we, the Religious Education Department, offer tours to youth groups and confirmation classes.
A while back we gave a tour to a group that comes each year. The previous year there had been some miscommunication, and, honestly, probably some mistakes on our part. This year the pastor of the visiting church was very clear that they were interested in this tour being mistake free. I had another meeting to attend, so one of my staff would lead the tour.
This church’s pastor and I were at the same meeting. During a break the pastor, checking voicemail, appeared troubled. “There was no one there to meet them…” I heard the pastor mumble in my direction. “There was no one at the security building (near the entrance to our campus),” I heard.
Instantly, I had my phone out, and was deciding between texting and calling. The tour had been scheduled to satrt over 2 hours ago, so haste was waste at this point. What mattered now was finding out what had happened.
Before I could decide on phone or text, the pastor said, “Ok, they’ve connected, it’s all ok.”
I holstered my phone and we went on with our day.
The following day, I asked my staff, the tour guide how it had gone. “Oh, it was a good tour. Everything went well. They were 15 minutes late.”
I think the tour group that showed up expecting something to go wrong read their first minute or three on campus this way. We don’t always have someone in the security building, and we never start tours there.
How often do we approach situation expecting something to go wrong, or, at least, expecting to be dissatisfied? I believe that if we approach life expecting to be dissatisfied, more often than not, we will be.
Does this mean we should lower expectations? Well, maybe, but not necessarily. Perhaps many of us should, however, not build things up in our minds and hearts to levels that aren’t realistic.
After all, most of us don’t like it when others over-build they expectations of us.