The Grass is always greener on the other side of Facebook

11 Sep

While planning to write about the general dissatisfaction wave, which seems to have hit each and everyone around me. I realised I may not be able to contain all of it in a single blog. Hence this is the first part of my DISSATISFACTION series,which includes 2 symptoms of general discontent, Nostalgia, and Comparison

NOSTALGIA

Recently when an author was reviewing his favorite books, he decided to go back and read most of it one more time, to be sure, that it was not his ”NOSTALGIA” that was making a book his favorite. but that it seriously did have better things to offer. Why did he decide to go back? Why did he  fear that nostalgia may have made his observations partial.

The term nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations

I am not sure if you are one of them, but I hear innumerable people say, “My childhood was the best time I can remember. My college days were the best. My single days were the best. My first job was the best”

Everything in the distant past seems to be their “best” time. Everything except for the present,which they dread. Nostalgia  is not an emotion I agree with. The essential advantage of nostalgia is we probably remember the good moments, all too well, and forget the turmoil we faced. I am not saying we should dwell on our past troubles. But was your college life really that great compared with your current life?You were probably staying in a hostel, with no good food to eat. You probably had  a LOT to study, that enjoying life seemed like a distant dream. You saw your mother  take an afternoon nap, and you couldn’t , because it was your exam the day after. The whole world revolved around your  academics.You had to beg and plead for anything you wanted.Rs 2000 seemed like a very huge amount of money. Was it really a great time? Maybe yes, maybe no.

People also always complain about their current job  and reminisce about their first job. “My first job was the best”. While I  am thinking “Really? You mean when we were asked to work on Saturday nights?” Then when I meet them few years down the line, they say “You know we had such a great time in Bangalore. Didn’t we? I miss those days, I hate my current job. “  Hmm, but I remember you saying your first job was the best when you were with me.

I probably had the best childhood anyone could ask for. I was a naturally good student, I went to the best schools, wore the best clothes, and my father got me everything I wanted , I don’t remember him scolding me ever when I was younger. But if you ask me, do I want to be a child again, my answer is NO WAY! I am glad now that I am grown up, and don’t have to undergo the many MANY perils of growing up. I am glad I am done with that. I am even more happy where I am at now. After all, our entire childhood is spent “preparing” for adult life. So I believe adult life should not be spent missing our childhood. Just doesn’t seem right.

Now comes the second aspect of discontentment, when we arent looking back at our former selves, we are looking at others.

Grass is always greener on the otherside

There was a classic 90’s Malayalam movie  “Ayalathe Adeham”. (Could be best translated to,

My neighbor’s husband), which  spoke about a complaining wife who compared her husband constantly with her neighbor’s husband. She felt her life was ruined, because her husband wasn’t as smart, outgoing, or fashionable as her neighbor. Aside from the fact that, it was a laugh riot, it focused on the most predominant reason for a discontent life, The grass is always greener on the other side syndrome.

Today obviously, we have no time to look  at or be friends with our neighbours. Most of us do not know who our neighbours are, but hell ya, we have FACEBOOK. Not to mention its innumerable unlimited photo upload power. Even the busiest among us, find the time to look at someone else’s photos and LIKE them. Somehow our life seems mundane compared to what is projected in those pictures. The Europe travels, the posing with wax models and what not. You are caught thinking “My life sucks. I am stuck in this job, stuck with this man, who isn’t romantic, (or isn’t rich), while everyone else is enjoying their perfect life!!!”

Ok, where am I going with this. Do I have an antidote?

Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic. John Henry Jowett.

Why is it that 90% of people I meet everyday, are discontent and unhappy? Is it because the world is just a sad place?  Is it because the world and this life doesn’t have enough to make any of us happy? That we are either looking at our earlier selves or looking at others to compare and be dissatisfied.

Or is it us. Is it because we are just so ungrateful, that we can never find happiness??

The majority of people I know who are always cribbing and complaining do have a great life. They have financial security, are not laborers, they usually have an (although not perfect), a loving family. They are obviously in a much better place, than they were few years back. But they just don’t remember it, and just dont get it. As cliché as the two ideas I am expressing here seems to be

1) The grass is always greener on the other side

2)Is the glass is half empty or half full?

 Its still two clichés that NO one seems to have grasped

Are we grateful for what we have right NOW? Are we ever taking the time to look at the innumerable blessings, we are showered with?

Nostalgia is always overrated. As we do look back with pleasant memories at our past, it should also be a good time to look at how much our life has improved and become better today, than yesterday. You may have put on a few kilos, but you also have overcome the acne. You may not be able to gulp down 5 pizzas at a go, but atleast now you can afford it 😀 without asking around.

I am all for browsing through other’s s happier lives, if that makes you inspired, but  if that makes you a walking complaint box unhappy with everything you have, then you need to rethink your priorities.

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