Saturday, June 26, 2010

Climbing fish. Saturday, June 26, 2010.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it
will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

I’ve always thought it strange the way people wish to be whatever they’re not. I have many friends of Indian and African descent, and their vision of beauty includes fair skin. In fact, in India, one can often discern what caste someone is from by looking at her skin tone. I can walk into any Indian store and purchase “Fair & Lovely” skin whitening cream. (It doesn’t really work, but it sells like hotcakes.)

On the other end of the spectrum, blonde-haired, blue-eyed people put themselves at risk for skin cancer and premature aging by frequent visits to tanning salons. Hair dye is available in every color under the sun, and contact lenses can change brown eyes to blue and blue to brown. So what is the “right” color to be?

But it’s not just appearance – really, it’s everything. Married people wish to be “free,” while single people are lonely and long for that soulmate. People living in the country think life would be so much more exciting in the city, and people in the city yearn for the peacefulness of the countryside. Children wish they were older so they could do what they want, and adults yearn for the carefree days of childhood.

The point is that we all think we would be happier if we were just something … ELSE. But that magical point of time and space and appearance never seems to come. For those of us who suffer from self-esteem issues, from depression, and from anxiety, happiness and peace are always unattainable, because they involve some fundamental change in reality. We think, “If only … THEN I would be happy.” Interestingly, when we do get what we think we want, we STILL manage to think, “If only … THEN I would REALLY be happy.”

They say the secret to happiness is not getting what we want, but wanting what we have. If only it were so simple. Then, we would REALLY be happy!

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