By Sarah Sanchez
My dad wrote a story when I was younger that was based off the popular phrase: the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. His story talked about not letting distractions get in the way of following our hearts, and that we should start watering our own yard instead of looking at the other side of the fence.
I always remembered this story growing up and tried to look at life with that perspective. But now that I’m grown and more aware of the world, I realize that this phrase applies to more areas than we think.
The society we live in is all about focusing on what we don’t have or what we don’t do. With social media all around us, we are constantly looking at other people’s lives and comparing them with our own – “Liking” what we approve of and commenting with our opinions of their statements or pictures.
We are also constantly striving for more (or better) in the workplace and at home. We want a bigger house, a smaller waist, bigger muscles, more pay, a higher rank at work, etc. Basically, we want what we don’t have. But what happens when we do get what we want? What happens when we achieve the goal that we originally set? Are we happy and content with our achievement, or do we set a new goal wanting something else we can’t have?
The sad reality is that most of the time we are not happy. We live life constantly looking on the other side of the fence, looking at the grass we don’t have and thinking that our grass is not nearly as green. Then we start seeking new grass. This is why many marriages fail, with one spouse finding interest in another person that seemed “better.” This is why many millionaires are never truly happy, even though they have more than enough money. This is why many struggle with anorexia and bulimia, because society tells us that thinner is better.
Society doesn’t tell us to go to counseling to fix the problems in our marriage, to seek happiness in things other than money, or to accept the body we have – no matter the size. Society tells us to do the complete opposite. But I think it’s time for us to stop looking at what we don’t have, to stop looking at the other side of the fence, and just water our own grass.