• Submitted By: Moin-Malik
  • Date Submitted: 11/15/2015 8:44 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 2326
  • Page: 10

It was 11th grade English with Mr. Turner at Mamaroneck High School. He was fond of summarizing great works of literature with a single phrase. And for Macbeth his line was simple: "Anticipation is greater than realization." He argued strongly that we invest so much in our goals and dreams that even when we completely achieve them we are inevitably disappointed because "anticipation is greater than realization." Mr. Turner did not view this as a bad thing, for if we did not look for the big things ahead we would not be motivated sufficiently to take the actions to move us forward even to the lesser achievements we eventually do accomplish. But he also warned us that if we allowed ourselves to be disappointed by what we actually achieved, then we would find nothing satisfactory enough, that our accomplishments would sour on us, and eventually we would stop trying, because since we never fully realized the fullness of our wildest dreams, the perpetual disappointment could sour us on life.

I have recently been very much reminded of that teaching as I observe the political processes, especially as we explore them here. And I have finally come to the conclusion that Mr. Turner was at best partly right.

Perhaps it is a function of living into one's seventh decade that tends to temper one's enthusiasm on one hand, while at the same time keeping one from being too disappointed. I am neither so sanguine about the fullness of possibilities because I see how many good opportunities people find a way of squandering, nor am I so disenchanted by the repeated opportunities lost as to completely give up hope. I was kidding with a friend last night who is even more follicly challenged than am I. John says he no longer goes to the barbershop for a hair cut, but only for a hair count. I responded that I tell my students I don't worry about a bad hair day, I am merely greatful that it is a still has hair day. But I also don't want my experience to be so deadening...

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