When I was in juniour high school I made an odd decision, totally against my charism, I joined the school army cadet brigade (I put it down to peer pressure as all my mates were up for it). But I could never follow the rules or take it seriously. Had I been in the reserves I would probably have been dismissed. It was all a bit like Monty Python. I stuck it out for a year, but then left, and they were glad to see me go.
But one thing that stuck in my mind was the contrary nature of the discipline, our commanding officer would shout (they never spoke they always shouted as if we were deaf) “Don’t anticipate”, which they clearly confused with expectation. Different to nature. Take my friend in the photo, originally there were six gulls squawking around us as we ate fish and chips, but this one patiently waited, anticipating a morsel, not a screech or cry, no intimidation. Eventually the others grew tired and flew off to the next couple further along the beach, but this one stayed the course. Anticipation, hope.
Now fish and chips are not the healthiest meal, but I like indulgences, and that in itself is an anticipation on my part. Fish and chips are unhealthy for my friend here too, but I wanted to reward and indulge our friend, so I gave him a sizeable portion. He may have been disappointed, but he hung in there just in case and was indeed rewarded.
Anticipation is something of the jouissance, the enjoyment of the moment. Without it we’re more like drones, or what Orwell (ever in vogue) called proles – the happy but mindless factory fodder. The ones who go along with everything and fail to get excited about possibilities. Anticipation is about juice, pulse, breath, excitement, joy, possibility, the moment. Anticipate away, enjoy, be alive in the moment.