“There can be no disappointment where there is not deep love.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

I’ll have to admit, I felt somewhat uninspired when I sat down to write about the topic “disappointment.” I did what any other author that lacked a creative direction might do, and I googled quotes about disappointment. This lead me to find the above quote from Martin Luther King Jr. This is not what I thought I would come across when searching for quotes about disappointment. I think this is a remarkable viewpoint on the concept of disappointment.

We as a society, suffer from a culture of disappointment. We have unrealistic expectations for most things and that results in a great feeling of disappointment. There are a couple of ways we can look at this phenomenon. We can see this as a tragic characteristic of our generation, or we can see it as MLK does. Disappointment comes from the fact that we care. We care about how we are perceived and about how our lives measure up to those around us. We care about those in our life and how they conduct themselves.

In the movies, it is stereotypical that when a child messes up and asks his parents if they are mad at him, the parent gives the cliché response, “ I’m not angry with you; I’m just disappointed.” For some reason this sentiment is much more striking than just anger. The notion of someone we love being disappointed with us cuts much deeper. Disappointment with causation, such as in the aforementioned case, is appropriate and even useful at times. Disappointment that stems from unrealistic expectations of those in our life is detrimental. 

Growing up, I remember some of my friends had parents that had incredibly high standards for their children. Parents, remember to be supportive and realistic about your child’s capabilities. Do not be disappointed in your child without reason, because he will internalize it. Give your children credit when they are doing their best; realize their capacity and build them up with positivity. Although your disappointment is coming from a place of love because you care about their success and future, remember not to be too hard on them. Use support as motivation for your children to create their own self-standards to live up to.

-       Bria