Imagined prosperity —
The grass is always greener….
People sometimes imagine a better life somewhere else, unhappy with what they have. They follow their desire and get all excited about their new life only to be disappointed after a while.
Sometimes it’s not a change of place that’s needed. Just a change of heart. Or mind.
Happy weekend! 💕
I met a man who lives in a cozy home
And doesn’t have to work
Because his family has enough money.
He’s lonely. And unhappy.
I met a woman who lives in a 3-story villa
With her two beautiful and smart children
And a moneyed husband who adores her.
But she says her life has no meaning
And she wants something more
Than just being mother and wife.
So she’s unhappy.
And the ones who labor day and night,
Careful not to waste a morsel of what’s on the table,
Can only think they’d be content and happy
If they had what these two have.
But…will they really?
In my life I have met so many unhappy people. Although I believe some of these people have no control over this feeling of unhappiness, most of them just choose not to be happy or content with what they have.
“’Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.'”
— from The Pulley by George Herbert
It is perhaps human nature to be restless and to always want something more. But I think we CAN choose to be content and be grateful for what we have.
Hope you find something to be grateful for today!💕
I think most of us, in our childhood, have dreamed of becoming popular. We wanted to be liked, to have the most number of friends, but as we grow older, most of us realize, we do not need that many people in our lives. We just need our real friends, and they are usually fewer than what we originally thought.
These days people, young and old alike, gauge their popularity by the number of “likes,” “comments,” or “shares” they get for their post in whatever social media platform they are using. I was genuinely perplexed one time when a student asked another student in my class, “How would you feel if you find out your best friend ‘liked’ the post of one of your friends, but didn’t ‘like’ yours?” I really didn’t think it should matter. But then again I’m “old.”
If you’re popular, you will never have peace. People will always want to get your attention or get something from you. (I heard about Ed Sheeran refusing to use a celllphone, so he can get away from people who are always asking something from him.)
If you’re popular, you’re an easy target for criticism from people who do not like your popularity. And there are always that kind of people. And if you’re the type who value popularity, most likely you wouldn’t like criticism.
The desire for popularity, like any other form of desire, causes suffering. If you want to be popular, better be ready to suffer.
Daily Prompt: Popular
It took me a while to finish reading Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls. I have to be honest and say, I did not enjoy reading it as much as I did Dostoevsky’s novels. This is bias on my part, perhaps, because I am a Dostoevsky fan. It was an almost an effort reading this novel to the end.
Still I am glad I finished reading it even though the novel itself ends in mid-sentence.
Here I would like to share some of the lines that I highlighted and why they struck me.
“For human passions are as numberless as is the sand of the seashore, and go on to become his most insistent of masters. Happy, therefore, the man who may choose from among the gamut of human passions one which is noble!”
The mistake of Paul Ivanovitch Chichikov, the main character, is choosing the ignoble passion of greed, of wanting much more than what he has, and doing everything he can, even if it is wrong, just to get ahead.
Yes, it is human nature to desire, but not everything we desire can be ours. This is the reason it is most often not a good idea to just do “whatever makes you happy.” If every single one of us just does whatever makes us happy, will we all be happy? Someone is bound to cry.
This is not to say that one cannot be happy without consequently hurting other people. Rather, there are many things that can make one happy that won’t hurt others at all, but there are a few things that will surely hurt the others that one cares about if one selfishly follows the desires of one’s heart. I think every human being has been through this kind of dilemma.
“Weariness of everything is a modern invention. Once upon a time one never heard of it.”
Platon Mikhalitch is a young and rich landowner who is weary of life. He finds life and work boring. He visits his neighbor, Peter Petrovich Pietukh, whom he finds annoying because the latter is always cheerful thinking of what to eat next, while he, Platon, is always gloomy.
I can understand weariness of life, and if I have a choice between a long or short life, I’d choose the latter (just until my son can live on his own). However as I still have life and the ability to move, I can think of so many things to do. The problem is not having enough time to do all the things I want to do. So I do not understand boredom when I am doing something.
Maybe it’s because people are made to think that their work has to be fun or exciting or interesting that has caused them to get bored with their jobs. WORK is work. In the past, people worked the land to put food on the table. I don’t think they considered whether it was fun to do or not. They just did it.
Now people don’t have to work so hard to put food on the table, and they get bored. Easily.
So I agree with the author: Weariness of everything is a modern invention.
“Therefore, if it really be that you have no genuine love for doing good, do good by FORCING yourself to do so. Thus you will benefit yourself even more than you will benefit him for whose sake the act is performed.”
Murazov spoke these words to Chichikov after the latter confessed to his lack of real love for what is good and only wants acquisition of property.
Murazov is a wise man. He knows how habits are formed. Even doing good deeds can be made into a habit. In the same way, forcing ourselves to be kind to people we don’t particularly like will benefit us even more than it will benefit them. How?
Eventually we will forget why we didn’t like them in the first place. And if we do not dislike anyone, then our minds are more at peace. Nobody’s living rent-free in our heads. (The irony is the more we dislike someone, the more often we think about them. And nothing is more annoying!)
Published in 1842, Dead Souls is supposedly “widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th-century Russian literature.” But for some reason, I do not find it as interesting, as thought-provoking or as moving as The Brothers Karamazov or The Idiot or Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky’s novels, their characters and their stories are somehow more memorable. But as I’ve spent time on it, I made sure I learned something.
Have a peaceful week! 💕
My heart has been “battered” for weeks now, so I’m not praying for more; but these days this sonnet has been like an earworm (brainworm) in my head.
Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.