How would your life have been altered had those most responsible for your development expected extraordinary things from you?
That hypothetical question has had me in a grip for some time. If it strikes you as unanswerable, consider this: In 1834, Transcendentalist Caroline Dall's father scoffed when his friends questioned his twelve year old daughter attending Emerson's lectures. He responded - "I expect her to write abstracts." How to measure the impact of a bar set that high? Who has ever expected so much of you?
My parents expected all four of us would complete a college education though they themselves barely made it through high school. By their Depression era standards that was an exceptional expectation; I can never repay them. And as my wife wisely coached me as Dall's at once inspiring and dispiriting tale became a recent topic of conversation, my latest dilemma is classic chicken and egg territory. That is, is it first the bar being set too low for some of us or ... is it that extraordinary is not a word meant to be used in the same sentence with some of us?
If I occasionally expect extraordinary things from others in the future, perhaps this iteration of my incessant navel-gazing will serve a purpose. When did you last expect something extraordinary from someone close to you?