So I was answering this friend, good news first:
– Yeah, professionally this has been my best year but…
– That’s great! -he interrupted me quickly.
He was right.
I ate a kind of tasty meal for lunch today. That’s great.
I have a family to stand behind me. Great!
I have great friends. Yeah!
I feel good most of the time. Huhh!
I have goals. Amazing!
I’m creatively expressing myself at this moment. That’s all super!
My general approach in life has been “What is it that I don’t have? How can I have it?” I though the same way about others too: he doesn’t have a girlfriend; she doesn’t have children; they don’t have a car, etc.
But a much more rewarding and healthy approach is he has great friends; she takes care of her parents; they love to bike, etc. And first and foremost: I’ve just had a good lunch, have a fine family, great friends, etc.
Once I’d like to watch the evening news that say: today nothing really bloody and horrible happened. Today nothing happened that threatens global security. Look at these hard working people, these NGOs, these activists, these government officials, these psychologists, teachers, doctors, etc.: they’re all working very hard to create a better world and today’s dedicated to them!
But I know it’s not the evil media that don’t give us these positive news. It’s us who want to see modern Gladiator games every night. But you know what?
You can (probably!) be better than this.
It’s very difficult to keep a clear mind and firmly say: I have enough – when every medium, shop, advertisement, the whole system – and basic human nature (!) tries to make us believe that we need more. But then, do we really need that much?
Not long ago I visited Jordan with a friend and we spent the first night in the Wadi Rum desert. Those guys we met at the tent-camp seemed to have little.
As someone traveling a lot and having a lot of personal belongings I could have felt pity for them:
– None of the guys there have ever left Jordan
– I’m not sure any of them finished high school
– I doubt they had their own shower.
– Money seemed to hold little importance and they couldn’t have too much of it. They were even lazy to bargain most of the time.
– One of them proudly explained that he had thrown away his last mobile phone 1,5 years ago so he could concentrate on the moment and not be somewhere else in his mind.
– come’on: they lived in the middle of a desert!
While we heard no preaching from them how to live one’s life or how to do good deeds we were surprised to see that they gave shelter to a Syrian refugee family and shared their food and time with us.
While they lacked a lot that makes me happy they had feelings I’ll never have: an extremely strong feel for their community, gratefulness for simple pleasures like spending time together, helping each other out and seemingly a sense of life taken from religious believes and a strong system built around it.
They had very little of what’s important to me. And I had practically nothing of what’s important to them.
What can I say? I’ll never again think that these Bedouin guys’ lives are so much less than mine. It’s just completely, fundamentally different…
I don’t know what keeps those guys moving and I even know nothing of what keeps you going.
You might or might not have a lot at the moment that matters for you: romantic love, unconditional love, friends, happiness, realistic possibilities or the model tank you’ve always wanted.
What is crucial to understand is that having enough happens in your mind. You can not have enough just by owning more and more and more.
And having everything?
Life is unfair to every individual. Even the most successful might not have a loving family or any feel for the community or conscience or free time or perfect health or…
Life is unfair and you can spend your time dwelling on how little you have or learn to respect and be happy with what you can have.
You can’t (and shouldn’t) always get what you want.
Happiness is not about having the most but making the most of it, really…
2016 is coming to an end. I’m very grateful for this year.
Thank you for reading!
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