Thoughts for Myself

Give more and expect less

I do not usually read the horoscope column in newspapers. But as I was browsing through international news sites the other day, one caught my eye – a Chinese zodiac horoscope in English, telling the fortunes for the Year of the Fire Rooster.


I was interested mainly for two reasons. One, is there really a demand for it in the English-speaking audience? And two, how is it similar to or different from that written in Asian languages… like my mother tongue, for instance?


The former, I cannot really examine, but I suppose people like me would be interested in taking a look so it must be worth supplying. The latter, I compared and contrasted, and I found some striking resemblances and distinctions… just like you would in regular horoscopes, I suppose. So I figured I should take the fortunes told just as I would on any other occasion I check the horoscope column – be hopeful for the good and cautious of the bad.


Apparently, according to Chinese zodiac horoscope in any language I have seen so far, I will not be having a very good year. They basically tell me that I should not aim high or want more in work, I will be prone to accidents health-wise, and my relations will tend to be unstable in interpersonal situations. Oh, great, so I should lay low and keep quiet so I can stay out of trouble this year?


Actually, no. The English version conclude by saying that I should “give more and expect less.” Does it not sound counterintuitive to all the other fortunes they have told? I should work more but not aim high or want more? I should spend more time doing healthy things for myself but still must watch out for accidents? I should try harder to maintain good relationships with those around me, all the while risking destabilizing them?


But a few days of pondering about this last advice, and I believe I get it now. Maybe it is precisely this line of thoughts that the advice is warning me. Maybe I have become too calculating, always expecting at least equal return, if not more, for everything I do. I want more pay and recognition for the more work I do. I want healthier body and mind for the more healthy food and exercise I take in. And I want more love and respect for the more of the same I give… Maybe I have them all backwards.


Maybe if I give more and get more as a result, that’s great, but I should not be giving more with the sole intention of getting more. Maybe it is not easy to expect less, but if I stop being so calculating, it would be the same as expecting less.


It was a good thing that this horoscope caught my eye. I did not expect much, but it gave me an advice I had needed to hear now more than ever. Oh, great, I think I have already begun to take the advice, without much effort, might I add!


Maybe it will not be as difficult to give more and expect less as I first expected. I do not know how much demand there is out there for me to give more, but I shall look to find reasons within me and expect less answers outside to make myself worth supplying.


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