Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Grass Isn't Always Greener...

"To Search Within" watercolour by Steve Hanks

"Life isn't all about what you don't have, but yet, what you do with what you have been given."
- Robert M. Hensel (click to learn about him)

Spend any appreciable amount of time around people and you'll discover certain commonalities that bind us. But there are also many things we share with others that we're blind to, as most of us (for our own reasons), keep certain parts of ourselves closely guarded.

Specifically I'm referring to a tendency we have to compare ourselves to others. I'm certainly no different than anyone else in this; I've done it before and despite my best efforts, will again many times throughout the course of my life.

It's so easy especially in times of adversity to believe that everyone else has it better. It's quite common when things seem to be falling apart to collectively gather all that is wrong with our lives and focus on them, turning our eyes towards those who seem to have it all figured out.

Yet I can say with absolute certainty that the people we view as having their lives so together are facing their own struggles, their own inner demons. The person you see smiling all the time may be falling apart inside, and a smile could be all they have left to hold it all together. The impeccably well-dressed man or woman you see every day may be struggling just to keep the bills paid. Those with the seemingly perfect relationship, which of course is always SO much stronger than yours, may be clinging on to that one thin reason to keep it all going.

We usually only see of people what they allow us. Sometimes we can see through that, if we know what to look for. I've found myself doing this many times, and admittedly it can make others uncomfortable when things they'd rather keep concealed are uncovered. This is something I need to work on; I have a tendency to want to get very deep into who a person is when I find sides of them that interest me. (Perhaps I just need to keep those observations to myself; they're at best dismissed when inaccurate but can run very deep when on point).

Whatever our station in life, regardless of age, sex, race, professional or social status I believe we are all fighting our own internal battles. At one time or another we'll want more or see others as being in a place we wish we were. It's easy to spend so much time thinking about what we don't have that it's easy to take forgranted what we do. And the irony of it is that as you look towards others wishing you were more like them, there's a very good chance someone is looking at you in the same way. No matter what we're going through, there's always someone out there who has it worse than us. We need to be very thankful for what we have, who we are and for those who appreciate us.

Our grass is all the same colour, we just have different weeds to deal with.

Love you guys.



  1. Our grass is all the same colour, we just have different weeds to deal with. - I absolutely agree. I have this always positive attitude of being contented with what I have. I admire what others have but I don't waste time worrying why I don't have what they have. I always say to myself, there is a reason for everything.

    Love you too Barry!

  2. This is SO true. You never really know what other people are going through. Everyone has their own way of hiding pain or problems...
    When I was in middle school, I used to be insanely jealous of my best friend. She was beautiful and had the most picture-perfect family: mom, dad, popular older brother, dog, and cat. Haha. But slowly her world started to reveal itself and I was shocked to learn her father was cheating on her mom, her brother beat his girlfriend, and their family was struggling financially. But on the surface, my friend Megan seemed so composed and carefree and happy. She never let any of that show. Her perfect life was an illusion.
    So when I read this post, I immediately thought of her. It's so easy to be jealous of others, but you really shouldn't. There's usually nothing really to be jealous of...

  3. Great attitude Leah, it seems we agree on a lot of the same issues.

    Jen thanks, that's a perfect example of what I'm referring to!

  4. It's funny you should post about this. You know who and I were just talking about this very thing a few days ago. This is another one of my "qualities" that I put myself through on a regular basis. Just recently it was about friends of ours who own a house, have well paying jobs (not you guys), a couple of kids, and it seems like money to spend without thinking twice. But as my smarter half was quick to mention, our friends both work long hours, and the kids spend most of their time with a nanny. I tend to look at the monetary gains some people have with a certain amount of jealousy, without stepping back to see reality.

  5. Quite right. Often financial gain on one side comes with considerable sacrifice on another.

    I'm sure there are many people making six figures who would love to come home and see their kids each night before they go to bed.