I just had an extremely philosophical conversation with myself that helped me figure out why certain things in my life are. They helped me to understand that I am ungrateful and that comparing myself to other people who may be worse off does not affect me whatsoever. Furthermore, I wish to state that I do, after all, understand and am aware that other people have true tragedies that have happened to them and that are happening to them, and that in no way am I impaired to understanding and knowing that it exists.

First, I’d like to say that the most important person in one’s life is the self. The you. At the end of the day, no matter how miserable someone else may be, you focus on your own happiness. This is because not only are you the center of your own universe, but because you want to ensure that it is YOU who is happy. That being said, knowing about other people’s misfortunes does not affect me. Knowing that someone may have lost a limb, or a loved one, or even their own lives in an accident, or that someone they know has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or that they may have lost their job and are now living on the street does not affect my level of dissatisfaction with my life. I will put forth an example that will help better understand this:
If you are in a restaurant, and you order a bowl of pasta and begin to work your way through it, only to find a dead cockroach in it, you will, no doubt, be dissatisfied. Now,may  you also find that the lemon in your soda is rotten. You look around to the other diners, and you learn that someone has just found a human finger in their soup. So what are you to do? You understand and are aware that their situation is much more distressing and gross than yours, but should that let you simply continue to work your way through your bowl and consume everything in it? No. You will still be dissatisfied. You will want your bowl and soda replaced immediately.

Do you see what I mean? Knowing that someone else may have it worse off is not going to make you 100% satisfied with your life. Nor is it going to make you delusional and think that everything is right and well with your bowl of pasta, because it is not.

Now suppose that everything IS well with your meal and your drink, but you just end up not liking the flavor…you might say to yourself that although you didn’t find any nasty surprises in your meal, you still had something to eat. Or you could throw a fit and simply say that you will never come back to the place again, or that you want a different meal. That is understandable.

But suppose that you loved your meal and there was nothing wrong with it. Yet, at the end, you feel although your experience wasn’t enjoyable, and you still complain about the place. But what if you loved the place and the meal? That may be rare to find, because people are seldom 100% satisfied with their own lives, “Never look to the people who have the perfect painted lives, because try as they might, they will never see beyond the canvas.”
But if you did enjoy the place and the meal, but you are still grumpy for other reasons, that may be ingratitude. If you are aware of that person who found a finger in their soup while you had a pleasant time but are still upset at the end of the day, then that may be ingratitude.

That is where I come in. I am not grateful for the good things I have in life. This is because I am always focusing on what I don’t have. Currently, I am not satisfied with my job, lack of romance (even though I know I am not ready for it), lack of activities, lack of social life, and absolute dislike for the place I live in.

However, people may say to me: It could be worse, you could be a child living with AIDS in Africa. You could be living in a 3 room apartment in the ghetto while hearing gunshots outside your window instead of birds. You could have lost a limb or your life in a car accident. You could have been an orphan. The list goes on.

But what is the problem with this? The fundamental problem is that people are obsessed with creating fictitious “What if” scenarios. I am not like that, and that is not my life. I will never be an orphan dying of AIDS in Africa, and I will never (or hope not to) live in a 3 room apartment in the ghetto. I could potentially lose my life or that of a loved one in an accident or to an illness, but I live in the now. The what if and could be reality? That is not the reality I live in. I live in the present, not the past, and certainly not the future. My life is not like that, so this does not affect me. It does not affect me at all. Why? Because I am the most important person in my life, and at the end of the day, I am worried about my own satisfaction, not those of others (in the context of people who are not directly related to me). I understand that many genuinely GOOD people have had horrible or awful lives. Life spares no one; not the rich, not the poor, not the sad, not the happy. I understand this. But at the end of the day, I am still not satisfied. Perhaps this has been progressing over the years. Perhaps I got used to the attention I received from my family, and all the comforts that I had in life. Because of this, I got used to these things just being “there” for me at all times, no matter what. Maybe this is what has made me ungrateful. It’s like going to a restaurant and expecting your drinks to be served before you sit down. You get used to that, and God forbid they are not set before you sit. You begin to see that as a “blessing” and begin to see it as an automatic aspect of life that you simply must have. You forget that some people can’t even afford to eat at restaurants, nor order wine. This becomes an automatic and expected commodity to you, and you simply forget that one day, you might not be able to afford it, and that one day, that wine, nor the person that served it, will not be there for you. But what do you care? You live in the now. You live in the present. You don’t live in the future, nor care about the misfortunes of others because you are too preoccupied with your own level of satisfaction.

So maybe that’s just it. I am ungrateful.

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