Today I sat in my statistics class and spent the whole time thinking about divorce. ‘Ha!’ You may laugh and think, ‘Oh what a hopeless un-romantic.’ But in actual fact, it was an exercise  in the lecture that set me off. I don’t have the reference and I don’t have any other details – all I can remember is that, when surveyed for a well-being survey, something like 22% of Grade Eight students expected that they would get a divorce sometime during their life.

I still don’t have a clue about z-scores and confidence levels and all that statistical jazz, but in all my expertise, I’d argue that every single one of those 22% will get a divorce.


Who knows why this perceived future reality has now become their expectation – maybe their own parents have divorced, maybe they haven’t seen an example of a really great marriage, maybe they just don’t believe a lifetime of marriage is even possible. Regardless – as this perceived future reality shapes their expectation, no doubt their expectation will shape their actual reality. It’s just the way expectation seems to work.

And therein lies its power.

What expectations are you currently holding close? Do they call you to consider, to hope, to believe that the best is yet to come? If they do, cherish these expectations and do not let them fade away as disappointment sets in and cynicism rises. Do not let disappointment tug your admirable expectations back down to the level of ‘reality’. For after all, your current reality is no more than the sum of your past expectations – about what you believe is possible, what you believe can be achieved, what you believe can be changed. And your future reality?

No more than the sum of your current expectations.

(image from morenewmath.com, definitely worth a little look-see!)


5 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. A very valid point you make there..except 50% end up in divorce…so 25% didn’t expect it to happen yet it still did.

  2. Yeah thats definitely a statistic to be thinking about! Though remember, thats 50% of those who actually get married in the first place. Who knows how the maths all works out though…

  3. Our lectures for that class are just generally callous. I mean, we have sample variables in the lab sessions that are things like “number of people who committed suicide that you personally know” or “number of people who were murdered that you personally know”. Seriously, I know they’re criminologists, but it’s kind of inappropriate.

  4. I so agree Pete! Sometimes I wonder if they pick the controversial stuff to stir us up. It would be nice if they forgot all that and worked on actually getting the content down pat – I’m so over spelling mistakes and wrong graphs and tutors getting confused!!

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