In this case I wish Facebook had an unshare button you can use to save the dignity of that person, because clearly she is unaware of what she has posted. My generation is a very privileged one, and it is so easy to get caught up in social media. It is very easy to think your life is boring compared to others and you need to be more successful, although compared to other countries, you already are quite successful with your 'fancy' car and your iPhone.
Don't roll your eyes and think this is going to be one of those lectures about first world problems, hear me out, you might be surprised at what I am going to share with you. I read this thread on Facebook (of course) about how the 'bar of happiness' has been pushed higher and higher over the last few generations causing people to be unhappy with themselves despite of all they have achieved. It made me think, so I just had to share it with you.
We are so ambitious these days. We are constantly trying to better ourselves, moving from the one accomplishment to the next; thus moving the 'bar of happiness' higher and higher with each generation.
I will explain what I mean by this and to make it easier to follow I will name the generations, hang on tight, it might get tricky. In the old days (before my time) being happy meant providing food on the table for their families (Generation A). Because the children (Generation B) of this generation found it hard to be content with what they had when they were children they tried to provide a better life for their children (Generation C).
So Generation B upped the 'bar of happiness' to being financially able to send their children to university so that they (Generation C) can make a better life for themselves. Generation C has obtained successful careers in professional positions and they can provide their children (Generation D) with lives where they can be whatever they want to be.
It's never ending
So for these children success and happiness means not only just to have a career, but to be special, they want to be famous for it. How many You Tube videos of funny cats or irresponsible teenagers have gone viral over the last few years? In some cases making the person very rich and famous. Now, suddenly kids are chasing the dream of being rich without all the work, wasting time on making silly videos where they can be seen 'planking' on a tree branch somewhere in the Serengeti.
What will happen when they don't get famous? Will they look back on the time spent trying to be special and wish they had used it to better themselves intellectually? Will they find themselves being unhappy and discontented when they do have a fantastic career, but they aren't famous for it? A lot of people are unhappy despite of all they have.
It is easy to see how we can get caught in lives where we chase after the wind. Where does it all lead? What will all of our achievements mean in the end? I think people soon become unhappy despite of all they have because they feel they have nothing more to achieve; the 'bar of happiness' is as high as it can go. How else can they achieve happiness when we already have everything?
Keep in mind that God loves us all and that He measures your success on how you use the talents He has given you to promote His love by living your life as an example to others. God rewards you for promoting His name and it usually comes as a feeling of accomplishment, a warm , fuzzy feeling that lets you know you have done something good.
A different measure
This is the kind of success that evolves with every accomplishment and the bar of happiness will never be too high to reach, because it would not be necessary to move it up in order to feel accomplished when you reach it again. Doing something nice for someone else when they need it the most makes me feel all happy and fuzzy inside.
This is the reward for me and I don't want anything in return. The sheer high I get off doing nice things for someone when they least expect something to go their way enough of a reward for me. By always trying to find something I can do for God to promote His love I continuously feel accomplished.
I agree, being successful in our lives is important and we should by all means dream about being good at our career and then be famous for it too, but I will add that this should not be all we desire.
We should remember that even if we do not achieve the fame and fortune we dream of we are still rich because we have God. We should remember that being successful in His eyes is what is important and I bet, if we focus on that we would never feel inadequate or discontented again and God will make us famous among the angels. (Matthew 6 verse 33)
Leanne van Rensburg was born in 1988 and grew up on a farm in a small town in South-Africa. After school she chose a career in science and obtained degrees in biotechnology and microbiology. She moved to Australia in 2012 and is currently working as an oncology technician in Sydney. Family, friends, horses, photography and travelling are a few things that add value to her everyday life. She is a adventurous person that loves taking risks and trying new things. Writing comments for Christian Today is one of her latest undertakings.
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