Many years ago, while I was lamenting my own life and envying others’ while sitting on a couch with a box of tissues next to me, my psychologist at the time said I shouldn’t overestimate other people’s happiness.
And it’s quite a good lesson, which I sometimes forget. The other day I think I might have turned a shade of grass green hearing about someone I know who moved into this huge “perfect” mansion. I think other people’s big houses and cars spell happiness, while their small thighs and debt mean eternal bliss. But it’s not so. And those thoughts often come when I’m having my own bad-thigh day, or worried about paying my bond on my own, and being able to keep up with your toy track habit.
But then I remember that nothing is ever as it seems, and I know you’ll be smart enough to figure it out too. When a classmate gets a new iPad 10, a Sony Playstation, or goes to Disneyworld for the third time, be happy for them. And remember the abundance you have. And be grateful for it, without lamenting what you don’t have.
I know it won’t be easy, but if you spend more time worrying about yourself and bettering yourself, and less on the others, you’ll do just great. Your dad taught me the best line in the world: “Don’t compare apples and oranges”, and you cannot go wrong with a mantra like that.
So Max, don’t overestimate other people’s happiness. And don’t underestimate how much you have, and how awesome you are.
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