The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
Today I wanted to write about a sensitive subject that’s been on my mind for quite some time now.
It’s about others. As in others’ lives, others’ businesses, marriages, relations, spiritual paths…you name it.
Do you agree that every time something goes wrong in our lives we obsessively tend to look on the other side of the fence and harshly compare ourselves to others? To those who seem to have it all: the dream job, the dream house, Mr. Right, the perfect kids, the perfect hair, the perfect skin and an interminable generous bank account?
And while we seem to be drowning in our own misery or self-created drama, they, the “perfect” ones, seem to dance through life like everything is divinely pre-arranged or magically pre-orchestrated?
Well, here is something I learned along the way and trust me – the examples I have to prove my point are infinite: what we see is only the surface, the glitter, the sparkle. What we tend to generalize are only glimpses of someone’s life and not the whole story. We think that by observing some pieces of the puzzle we can intuitively predict the whole picture. But we couldn’t be more far off reality. Especially in this social media governed era, people are so masterfully presenting the best parts of themselves, the good, the extraordinary, the positive, la vie en rose!
And we take these crumbs and are inspired by them, copy or envy them, ignore them or translate them into our own lives, not knowing in our assumed superficiality that that’s not the whole story. That there is more to it, and that every success story is also a story of failure, with its hidden parts, its ups and downs, its fair share of sorrow, of soul-searching, of frustration and battle.
For the past weeks I’ve been discovering that my theory is right, that every single person, no matter how wealthy, healthy, beautiful or smart she or he is, has its own battles to fight and its own hidden skeletons.
Why we foolishly jump to the wrong conclusions and reduce a person to a tag “Successful”; “Lucky”; “Admired”, “It-Girl”, “Wonder Woman” is beyond my comprehension. Or maybe the answer is easier than we think: maybe, just maybe, we consciously prefer to be fascinated by sparkles and retouched pictures rather than to scratch the surface for the truth, for the complete story.
It’s an act of weakness and selfishness, really, as by doing so, we exonerate ourselves from doing the hard work, the fighting and the pulling.
And there is another point to this, as my clever friend Venom observed: the “perfect” ones may be deliberately showing only the picture-perfect aspects of their lives, in a desperate tentative to cover-up their vulnerability, their fragility and their weaknesses. But by doing so, inevitably, their humanity is altered as well.
My advice to you and to me likewise is this: do not judge a book by its cover and a person by appearances. Truth is, he or she may be fighting or surviving, in silence, his own battles.