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The proverb the grass is always greener on the other side summarizes the state of the world in many ways since people are always looking at other peoples’s lives and feeling bad about their life. They think that other people have it better and their circumstances are not as suitable. People are living lives with other people’s lives as their frames of reference and not thinking about what they want their own lives to look like.
Nobody is happy with their lives because they are looking at other people’s lives and wondering why are their lives better than ours.
Well, it isn’t.
All of us have our share of highs and lows. Life works like that. Nobody’s life is perfect. The important thing is to understand that all of us have been given our own share of grass and we cannot do anything about the grass on the other side.
The grass on the other side looks greener because we are not taking care of the grass on our side. There is no way anyone of us is going to find happiness if you keep looking at the grass on the other side. If the grass on the other side is greener it’s probably because they are taking care of it and you aren’t.
There is no way you will be able to find happiness if you are always looking on the grass on the other side. A lot of people are living lives trying to catch up with other people, and it is not helping.
Stop comparing your life with those of other people. Stop trying to catch up with the Jones’s or the Kardashians. It is a waste of life. They have a different life. You have a different life. You cannot get famous like Kim Kardashian did. Can you? Even if you can, she was first in the game so will always have the first fucker, sorry the first mover advantage.
Let us dig a little deeper into the origins of this phrase.
As per English stack exchange, the phrase is popular since the early 1900’s in the English language. However, as early as 1545, the proverb cited by Erasmus of Rotterdam was translated into English by Richard Taverner as:
“The corne in an other mans ground semeth euer more fertyll and plentifull then doth oure own.” (The corn in another man’s ground seems ever more fertile and plentiful than our own does.)
The proverb has seen a fair bit of evolution throughout history and this is where it currently stands in pop culture: the grass is always greener on the other side, implying that other people’s life situations seem better than our own.
That’s fair that at a certain point in time, someone’s life situation may seem better than yours. For example, if there is a bereavement in your family, it may seem that you are the only unhappy person in the world, and everyone else in enjoying. That doesn’t mean although that there isn’t a bereavement in other people’s families at different points in time.
This is also true that some people’s lives are more difficult than those of others. For example, a lot of people around the world are born in poverty, live in poverty and die in poverty and their lives never improve. The reasons are a separate discussion.
However, in general in the society, the thought doesn’t quite hold ground. It is largely employed by the middle income classes who live in homes better than those of the poor and humbled than those of the rich. The fact is even the rich have their own share of rich problems.
To contextualize the message in the post, life doesn’t work in competition with other people. It appears to be so, but it is not the case. Life is quite a marathon, than a race.
The grass on the other side is not greener because everyone is looking on the other side of the grass besides marathon runners that is people who understand that they can only compete with themselves and improve the grass on their side. What we need to do as people is to learn from people who have greener grass, and then come back to the grass on our side and nurture it. The grass on our side may also have a different texture and a different set of needs. So do our lives.
If all of us keep looking on the grass on the other side, then the grass around the world will wither and die down and nobody’s grass will be greener anymore. That means that nobody will be happy since everyone would be feeling bad about themselves since they didn’t care to water their own grass.
What should you do about the grass then?
The problem with the world is most people are busy looking over to the other side and nobody finds happiness or joy. Stop looking over to the other side. You are unique and so is your life. Even your temperament, your attitude, your ability to learn and focus-everything is different about you.
Yes, like in marathons, you can speak to the other runners. You can speak to other people who seem happier to ask them how they are happier and what do they do to the grass on their side that it is so green?
We can only learn from other people who are watering and taking care of the grass on their side but we must work on the grass on our side – our lives and its unique challenges we are to find happiness.
Our happiness cannot and will not come from other people’s lives. We are not them. They are not us. Their race is not our race. Their garden is not our garden.
The grass on the other side is not always greener. The grass on your side is withering because you are not taking care of it. Start appreciating your garden and start taking care of your talents, your gifts and build your own unique garden with beautiful grass. The grass on your side is your life. That’s where your happiness lies.
Thank you for reading.
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