As I write this, I'm sitting in our employee break room on the 40th floor, looking outside and enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and high puffy clouds, and green trees and watching traffic whiz by…and thinking, “Wow, today would have been a great day to take my lunch outside and eat in the park. It’s so beautiful out.” But the reality is, it’s not even 60 degrees outside and there is a brisk wind blowing those beautiful green trees, and in the park are birds and bugs and other things that would hamper the enjoyment I think I would have if I were to eat outside. How often do we look at something (or someone) and think one thing about them (or the situation) which may or may not be true.
There are a couple of clichés and a scripture or two that come to mind: “The grass is always greener on the other side” and “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” I am not, by nature, a jealous person. I don’t tend to envy others – what they have, who they are, what their status is in life – but I have to admit that there are times when I look at people and wonder what my life would be like if I could (if only for a moment) step into their shoes. How would my life be different if I was married, with children, or richer, or in a different profession, or more education, or a different education, or if I was a man, or…? Well, you get the picture. But, I also know that all that glitters ain’t always gold.
I mean: is it worth being married if your spouse is abusive or unfaithful? Is it worth it to have children if they are rude, disrespectful or an embarrassment? Why be rich or famous if you cannot know who is truly your friend and who hangs around just because of what they feel they can get from you or from being with you? How many public smiles are hiding private hurts?
I think about stuff like that when I see my friends who are acting as if everything is peachy keen fine when I know they are worried about their marital relationships, or their job situations, or how they are gonna pay the rent/mortgage this month. Friends who are smiling when they are worried about a loved one who is chronically ill or a child who is on drugs or where they are going to get their next meal or about a doctor’s report that just told them their life is about to change forever – and not for the best. Loved ones who are battling depression or stress or facing general “nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms” types of days/weeks/months. (Oh, that’s me…sorry!)
All I’m trying to say is we each need to learn to be content with our lives because you never know what dark secrets are lurking behind the smiles and glamour and ease you think someone else is experiencing.