Oh, we humans! We are soooooo predictably irrational. We keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again. It would be funny if it were not so tragic, if it did not cause so much needless suffering.
We so desperately chase what we don’t really need, blindly, mindlessly pursuing what we think we want without really spending much time thinking about what we will do with it, how it will really make us feel, once we do get it. We want it because we are told we should want it. We want it because everyone else wants it or has it or talks about it. We want it as public proof of our greatness, our belongingness, our status in the pack.
Like the dog chasing the car, we are totally clueless about what to do with it once we do catch it.
If we only would learn from our mistakes! If we only would pause to consider our underlying motivations, sit still and ponder and separate the original us from our externally-programmed social personas.
We so fervently want and overvalue what we don’t have, and so callously undervalue and demean what we do have! We so take for granted our blessings that we repeatedly risk their loss.
You heard it here first: The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence because there is BS on it. A thick, smelly layer of it!
So, undercut by a factor of five the glitter and glitz of the what you don’t have and multiply by a factor of ten or so what you do have and perhaps you will have some glimmer of reality, some true balancing of the scale.
Remember, the “reporting” from the other side of the fence is often biased and misleading. When the stock market was up, all I heard about was how smart people were, how much money they were making. When the market went down, all of a sudden I was no longer getting regular updates. The grass may appear greener because the big brown spots are hidden or because someone sprayed green paint on them.
Enough is never enough until it is. Enough is an emotional decision not driven by logic or true need. You will have enough when you decide you have enough. Only then and never before.
You can’t get enough of what you don’t need and the grass will always APPEAR to be greener, particularly as long as you don’t appreciate what you already have. The moment you learn to value what you have AND see the manure spread on the supposedly greener grass, you will see the situation in much more of its true “color.”
How is your attitude of gratitude? When was the last time you truly counted your blessings?
“The world I am trying to understand, is one in which men think they want one thing and then upon getting it, find out to their dismay that they don’t want it nearly as much as they thought or don’t want it at all and that something else, of which they were hardly aware, is what they really want.”
— “Shifting Involvements” by Albert O. Hirschman
This is a classic from the NSC Blog archive. Originally posted August 25, 2008.