Monday, July 18, 2011


Expectivity, Assumivity, and Flexibilitivity 
By Robin J. Steinweg

Trouble, for me, does not stand for “T,” which rhymes with “P,” which stands for pool, which means Trouble right here in River City. In my book, Trouble starts with “E” or “A.” And not enough “F.”

“E.” Expectivity (from Robin’s Book of Definitions): To harbor high expectations of people/ events. If you expect much of people, they usually give it to you.

That can be true. Or maybe not.

Example 1: I expect my sons to obey me. They usually do, but not because I expect it; my husband and I worked hard at consistent discipline until our expectations were met.

Example 2: I expect my choir to sing beautifully. They usually do, but not because I expect it; We work hard at consistent practice of notes and technique until my expectations are met.

The trouble comes when Expectivity meets Assumivity.

“A.” Assumivity (R’s book again): To expect others to behave in a certain fashion (the way I would). I expect friends, leaders, strangers and family member to behave the way I would in similar circumstances. I assume they will.

Example 1: A driver passes and cuts in front of me, inches from my bumper, without using the directionals conveniently located within reach of any of several fingers, forcing me to slam on my brakes, and in turn forcing cars behind me to take evasive action in order not to rear-end me, which causes a chain reaction of horn-honking and foul language from those drivers who have not yet learned to control their tongues. All this when there’s been no good reason (other than said driver paying no attention—jabbering on a cell phone or illegally texting or simply behaving like an imbecile) for such erratic behavior. And I assumed that the driver would not do such a thing, because I wouldn’t. 

Example 2: Too upset about Example 1 to offer another.

“F.”: Flexibilitivity (R’s book): 1To be a pine tree; let the ice of adversity slip off the branches.
2To sway with grace as the stiff winds assault, so not to break under the strain. 3To forgive. 4To expect the best, assume the worst, applaud the good and release the bad.

As Bing Crosby and the Andrews sisters sang in the 1940s, “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive, and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between!”

Robin J. Steinweg thinks life is sweet right in the middle of writing children’s books, directing, writing and arranging music, teaching music, and listening for the Music of the Master’s voice. Among other things, Robin writes devotionals for the online magazine The Christian Pulse.


Joanie said...

Very nice, Robin! One of my favorites!
Love the new pic!

Karen Barnes Jordan said...

This is SO hard to do at times: "To expect the best, assume the worst, applaud the good and release the bad." But I know if I want grace, I need to give it to others, right? Thanks for the reminder!

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Thanks, Joanie. And Karen, you're right--it is awfully hard! But possible in Christ.

Robin J. Steinweg said...

Kathy, thank you for this series of messages. I think perhaps we all struggle with this. At least I do, and I'd like to think I'm not alone!!!