• Jonathan Antoine

On Comparison & Expectation

I believe it is the fate of all people to be hindered by comparison, and that this is not necessarily a bad thing. We are compared to our mothers and fathers from the moment of our birth and those comparisons place upon us our very first expectations. The expectation that we shall be like our parents, whether in our physicality or our mentality, is often quickly done away with once we begin to develop our sense of individuality in either of those realms. It seems, though, that it has been fairly well documented that those who are continually pressured to live as prescribed by any external force - that is to say those forces outside of the self - from and beyond their youth tend to exit those prescribed forms of living with certain immutable traumas.

This is, of course, not to say that I would think for a moment that I have been personally traumatised by such a flattering comparison! It is merely to surmise that expectations placed upon any person may hinder their self actualisation, and in doing so, to consider that the inverse must therefore also be true.

Within my own personal experience I can say that the comparative expectation placed upon me by a number of people has driven me towards self-realisation; by not taking the whole thing too seriously I feel I’ve gotten the positivity from this comparison without allowing it to become a hindrance. When people make remarks in such a vein it should not be considered gospel, for allowing oneself to live and abide by any remark of another will obstruct the self. Instead these should be considered complementary, sudden outbursts of friendliness if you would. If a person places an expectation upon you; it is most useful to accept as an act of trust that you will make the correct choices for yourself.

Pavarotti and I are and shall always be two different people. I can learn from his outlook and the results of his career, but our journies began in different places, in different eras, as different individuals. I hope to honour his memory in the same way that I hope to honour any singer that has touched my heart. Those people who leave imprints upon our lives, whether they know it or not, are not to be idolised but perhaps admired from a distance; not to be emulated but instead to be considered.


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