Hope vs. ExpectationPosted: April 19, 2012
What is the difference between ‘hope’ and ‘expectation’?
Our first fundraising event was this past weekend, a variety show with dancing and musical acts. It’s fair to say that I had high hopes and lofty expectations that we would raise a huge chunk of money. We put a whole lot of ourselves into it for the past 3 or 4 months in preparation. There were promotions, social media blitzes, radio ads, posters and flyers, news articles, and more. I organized a presentation, personally performed four times during the show, contacted and arranged for a variety of artists and performers, as well as finding donations for a silent auction and raffles. We also sold custom bracelets and bottles of hand sanitizer printed with the HELP logo.
I absolutely didn’t do this alone. There were so many people involved that did so much. I have taken the time to acknowledge them and thank them personally, and doing so once more is the least I can do. Again, I am extremely grateful to all of you – you know who you are! As with all things in life, some people involved were shining saviors while some were less helpful, but thankfully there we more of the former than the latter. I also took away some invaluable lessons about which things worked and what didn’t for future events like this.
But despite what everyone would deem a successful night, I can’t help but feel a little discouraged. That is completely my fault due to my high expectations. I made the mistake of comparing this to other events that I have heard about where people put a lot less effort into them and come out so much farther financially. “I just threw a party and raised $20,000” or “A 9-year-old gave up his birthday and raised $13,000.” I can’t even imagine raising that kind of money at such an event here. Sure, I hoped, but didn’t expect anything close to that. But I admit I did expect a larger turn-out, hoping even to sell out the small theater since that is where most of the planning energy and effort was focused. Simply put, more people in the seats would have equaled more money for Saraiya.
So despite the generous donations, the amazing performances, the volunteers who went above and beyond to help people they don’t know and will never meet, and despite the standing ovation I received, I cannot help but feel unimpressed by the final numbers.
To me, expectations are something concrete. You believe your own hype. They are what you tell yourself will happen, or at least should happen. Expectations are the foundation — stable or not — that you build upon. The reality of the situation tests that foundation and often finds it lacking.
Hopes on the other hand are far more ethereal. Their nature does not allow for anything to be built upon them and you can’t imagine even attempting to do such a thing. They are like sunshine, clouds, and dreams.
Well, time to stop believing my own hype. I am officially moving on and getting over it. More fundraising and presentations to be had! Practice makes perfect, and I am sure that I will get lots of that.