I ask you this question because so often we think someone else has it so much better than we do. People go around with a sad face with their lip dragging the ground with the “Oh poor me” attitude.
Do you or someone you know always act like the sky is falling in on them because they don’t have as much money as their neighbor. Or their car is old with faded paint, but the girl at work has a shiny new car?
Have you ever considered that the neighbor next door might be filing for bankruptcy because she spends money she doesn’t have? Or did you think that the girl with the shiny car doesn’t have any retirement savings?
How good is your life? You have $300,000 in a retirement fund. You save because you choose to drive an older car. You keep your money instead of going out to eat and party every night. You made choices to better your life. But the outward appearance is not as sweet as some people you see.
A story about two girls.
In New York directly in front of Macy’s, there are two different girls. Neither one knows the other.
One girl has soft blond hair, smooth, silky skin, and a perfect body. Her skirt is soft and swirls when she walks. She has on a pearl white button-down top that matches perfectly. She sways gracefully down the street in and out of stores. She is so light-footed and agile that you don’t notice what she is wearing on her feet. You don’t notice the way she keeps looking around to see who might be watching her. She is afraid someone will notice her dirty brown, worn sneakers with frayed shoestrings. These are the only pair of shoes she owns.
The other girl has long mousey brown hair, and her complexion has acne scars from years past. Her shorts are worn thin, and her T-shirt is a dirty white with faded writing from her college years. She sits comfortably on a corner bench reading while she waits for her bus. There are people all around her, yet she feels safe and secure. On her feet, she is wearing a pair of $500 high top sneakers. Under those sneakers, she has perfectly manicured nails.
As you read the description of each girl, I am sure you formed a picture in your mind. Until it came to their shoes, it was unclear which girl had a difficult life. But life doesn’t always paint a clear picture of the life someone else has to live or chooses to live. How good is your life?
You may have envied the girl with the pretty skirt and blouse while you felt sorry for the one sitting on the bench. You compared your life to each one of these girls and formed an opinion base on your vision.
I wrote this piece one night while pondering how so many people think others have so much more than they do. If you look at the smiling face of another’s life, it would be easy to believe that your life is much more difficult. It would be easy to think that you were left out and someone else was blessed.
Social media gives us a great example of how others can make it look like they have a perfect life.
When a person posts on social media about their children or their recent trip to the beach it seems like they have it all. It is easy to let the world believe you are doing well when your whole world is falling apart.
The person who just got back from the beach didn’t tell anyone she spent three days in the hospital detoxing from alcohol. Her drinking problem is a secret, but her beach vacation is not.
Anyone can make another believe that they are happy all the time. If a girl on social media posts that she has the perfect husband will you compare it to your marriage? What she didn’t include is that he yells at her all the time when they are at home. He is mean and treats her with disrespect.
Do you see what I’m saying? You can’t look into their life, and you don’t know what it has been like for them.
You can not compare yourself to situations you see around you. People are often not truthful with themselves because the truth is hard for them to face.
Everyone forms opinions based on the surface appearance of others. It is hard as humans not to create comparisons. Next time you find yourself thinking that someone else has it better than you remind yourself of your blessings and make a list. Look back on this list when your bottom lip is dragging the ground because you don’t think you have what everyone else has.
A reminder, A mask
I wrote this poem for you. Save it to your photos and revisit it often. Each time you do, it will remind you that surface appearance cannot be trusted.
Many people cover up their scorched and withered grass with a mask. Their mouth smiles but their eyes are sad. You don’t know what type of sadness others have seen. Their private life is withering away, but no one knows. Inside they are in turmoil, and they live with shattered dreams.
Be careful that you do not envy another and wish for a life like theirs. Just how good is your life? Take a look at your life. It is much better than you originally thought.
I hope you can see how blessed you are. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I am here to assist in any way I can.