Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Modern Happiness.

“The only time you should look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.” - Louis C.K.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

These two quotes have been tumbling around in my brain a lot lately.  Despite all that I have, it seems easy to get sucked into a vortex of envy and loathing when one looks over the fence and sees all that green grass.  The Internet makes this easier than ever before.  Historically, there were always ways to tell what class a person was or what one suspected they had going on in their lives.  For a very long time, it was how one dressed.  This changed in the industrial age when ready-to-wear clothing made it affordable for everyone to dress like the class they wanted to be.  So, we had to find new ways to make each other feel inferior.  Cars, houses, appliances...I think the idea is clear.  Still, in the United States, we have deemed ourselves a "class-less society," which is laughable.  We all consider ourselves middle-class.  No one wants to be lower-class (whatever that means), but no one wants to be elite either.  

Thanks to the Internet, we can more easily see the things people have, partly because they spend time posting them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  So-and-so bought a house; him-and-her are having another baby; this-and-that are getting a promotion.  Suddenly you're sad because those people are doing the things you wish you could do.  Oof.  It's the worst.  It's probably weird of me to admit it, but from discussions with my friends, I know I'm not alone.  

But I have a full fridge (of weird food; it's been a strange meal week here), I have a car that runs and lets me listen to music on my commute, and I have a healthy family who makes me really happy.  I have a house to protect me when it rains, and it has enough space to let me grow tomatoes.  In short, I'm a really lucky person.  Why do I let the joys of other become my insecurities?  

I've made a promise to myself concerning self-improvement, as of late.  Most goals are tangible: get in shape; eat well; crochet; write 1000 words a day.  However, a few are mental, and most people will never notice they occurred, which is fine.  The above quotes pretty much sum it all up.  Be happy with the wonderful life I have and ensure that I'm doing what I can to lift others up.  Teaching helps me do that.  I do a little charity here and there.  I think my happiness will increase if I keep all this in mind.

I hope you enjoyed this little philosophical side-bar.   I'll get back to talking about crochet, gardening, and E in due time.