There are always dumb memes floating around Facebook that tell you to be happy with what you have in life and they all just make me want to bang my head on my computer.
STOP POSTING THOSE!
I agree that we should find happiness in what we have – the people and things in our life. We should always be grateful and appreciative of those things because there is someone out there who would give anything for a fraction of our happiness.
It’s easy to look at those less-fortunate and find a humbled sense of pleasure in the small things in life. A safe bed, or just the simple luxury of cable TV. Things could always be a lot worse. These Facebook memes tell us to look over there and compare ourselves to those sad people and see how much better we are – but then they say don’t look in the other direction because you should never compare yourself to those who have more.
It’s a bit one-sided.
Let me tell you: It’s a scam, designed by those who have more than you and want to keep it that way.
Would you look at any of those people who have less than you and tell them with a straight face that they have enough and should be happy where they are? Would you trade them lives? Probably not. I assume you’re a good person and want those people to do better; to have more and be more. We should want everyone in this world to succeed and be happy, and this terrible idea of “be happy with what you have” dulls us into thinking we have enough.
If you ever stop wanting better, then you have quit living. You have stopped your journey, planted your tent and said, “This is good enough. This is as far as I’m going.”
And it is good, please don’t misunderstand me. You should be happy with what you have because you are lucky and it could be worse … but you should never let that fool you into thinking you have enough. You should always be pushing yourself to be better. Maybe you need a better job, or better pay, or a better house. Maybe you want to be a better writer, a better musician, a better athlete, or whatever. Or maybe it’s as simple as being a better parent, a better Christian, or a better person.
Because no successful person ever thought to themselves, “I’m happy enough with what I have.” Don’t be lured into settling by others who were too afraid to push a little further, or by those who would rather keep you beneath them where they can look down on you.
And next time you want an inspirational quote-meme for Facebook …
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a Heaven for?” — Robert Browning
Ryan Ottney is a former writer and editor for the Portsmouth Daily Times. He is now director of communications at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, and he has contributed columns for the Cincinnati Enquirer. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org of follow on Twitter @ryanottney