Maria Miller’s experiences of recent days culminating in a scrambled, forced departure from high political office demonstrate the uselessness of expectation: it never serves.
No-one in the latest political brouhaha emerges honourably, and while she has made mistakes I feel sorry for the last Culture Secretary: she has been the subject of unwarranted personal criticism far beyond the facts of her expenses claims, and her family and private life have been the subject of frenzied, intrusive gossip. Her world of privilege has disintegrated humiliatingly, but she may feel relief that the glare of the media spotlight has moved elsewhere, and she can begin a new, albeit humbler cycle which will be painful initially but salutary, inevitably
[caption id="attachment_2519" align="alignright" width="237"] Maria Miller[/caption]
I have witnessed other people with celebrity status and egos to match, whose lives are lived in the expectation that their fame, however it is derived, will generate a certain response wherever they go – respect, preferential treatment, the fulfillment of every demand made, even at the expense to or inconvenience of others. It can be an automatic expectation, so inbuilt that the denial of it can be a huge shock, one that is hard to accept as real, or justified: I have seen anger, distress, and self-justification but rarely, to begin with, acceptance. If you have a big ego and a strong sense of self-importance, it can very hard indeed to see that, in fact, you are just like everyone else in the world, however much money you have or how big your fame, and that money and reputation are lost easily.
If we see that everything in our life comes and goes; if we are able to be thankful for the blessings we have and to know that how it is today may not be how it is tomorrow; if we can be without expectation so that the unrolling of life moment by moment is a wonderful surprise; then the times of challenge will be a brief touch for some purpose before moving away to leave us in our peace.
Maria Miller has been hurt, and expectation and ego may have been a major factor in her fall. I wish her well, while wondering how many others in her political world will see this fact of life: that with expectation, always, comes disappointment.