In the design and testing of any industrial product, every product goes through a testing phase. Such a process will establish benchmarks or standards, as well as determine at what point th product is meeting expectations and can be delivered to the marketplace to consumers. Along the design phase there are likely 3 scenarios for these tests:
- A product will bend so far until it breaks – this is a feature.
- A product will bend so far until it breaks – this is a standard that future iterations must meet.
- A product will bend so far until it breaks – at this point the product is no longer viable.
Regardless of the scenario, the product will bend and is expected to do one of two things: keep bending, or break. This expectation is much the same way with people.
As we sit and reflect on the world around us, lately I’ve given a lot of thought to the expectations we have of the people in our lives. For some of us, the basics apply; we want this people to be loyal, caring, gracious, yet hold us accountable when we need it. For others, they have no expectations of the people in their lives. In those instances, their lives are a revolving cast of characters who just a quickly whose exit is only bested by the time it took them to enter. For others, the expectation is more significant. We might even say it’s irrational or unreasonable.
Suffice it to say that there will always be people in our lives for whom there is simply no reasonable means to satisfy them. We see this characteristic more and more it seems. For some this effectively means that we must continue to bend to their needs and once we feel as though we can no longer bend any further, then we’re expected to continue bending. And, as impossible as it seems, we somehow do. It defies logic. Such as the wife who endures being beat because in her mind, her husband actually loves her. Or, a husband who continually endures his wife’s continued trysts with another man without uttering a word. I realize I’m playing into stereotypes here, but you get the point.
You’ll bend and you’ll bend and you’ll bend and then when you don’t think you can bend anymore, yet someone demands more bending, we’ll do it. Because what if we finally tire and we break? The chances are those people who demand us bend further will most likely say, “Well if that’s all the farther you can go and you can’t meet my demands, what good are you?” Can you imagine the terror of being cut loose from the demands of someone like that? Maybe we should. Maybe we should have a breaking point where we say, “No more.” In some instances you take your ball and you just go home when the game is rigged against you. Who wants to continue playing that game?