Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Ceramic Products Manufacturer in Malaysia

Ceramic Products

Most of us are dissatisfied with our current situation and gaze longingly towards the other side of the fence perceiving the grass to be greener on the other side. We create an imaginary future happiness in our mind because we cannot find contentment in the present moment. This in turn brings further discontentment into our life.

A wise master said that every person has suffering that is appropriate to his or her station in life. A poor person has suffering that is appropriate to his state and a rich person has suffering that is appropriate to being rich. The same applies to a person who is famous, powerful, intelligent or gifted. A famous person does not have the privacy that a normal person possesses. A rich person is often treated with respect, and he is so used to it that he gets offended easily when someone does not greet him in an appropriate manner.  A person in power will need to worry about his enemies and even friends who are looking to take over his position. Buddhism teaches that even the Gods have sufferings that are appropriate to their circumstances.

I know a lady whose husband passed away at the age of 80 a few years ago, leaving her with sufficient money to live comfortably for the rest of her life. Her children are doing well and they provide her with monthly allowances that she does not really need. Despite that, she cannot find happiness and often complains about how things should be in her mind. There a millions in the world today who will be more than willing to trade places with her despite how bad she sees her life!

If we look at the other side of the coin of our dissatisfactions, we can also see that every situation has positive things as well. If we can see that whatever things, positions or situations that we are chasing after can also bring suffering, we will begin to look at our current situation and learn to enjoy the positive parts. A person who does not own many valuables in his house will not worry too much about break-ins.  If we look deeply in our life, we will be able to find things to be grateful for in whatever situation we are in. If we can learn to do this, we will find contentment.

Even personality traits can be seen from a positive and negative light. A stubborn person can also be described as passionate and having strong perseverance. A flexible person can be described as one who gives up easily. A cheerful person can also be seen as being frivolous. A person with an eye for details can also be seen as being fussy and disruptive. So, if we are unhappy with someone, we may be able to overcome it merely by shifting our perception or interpretation of things.

top of mountainWe cannot just tell ourselves to be contented or force ourselves to do so. Contentment must arise from seeing things as they really are – whatever things or positions which we imagine will bring us happiness; WILL ALSO BRING SUFFERING with it. So why not just enjoy the positive things that come with our present situation.  This is not difficult to do. If we can just suspend our desires for a moment and think about the positive things that our current situation allows us to enjoy, we may just see that we are already where we want to be.

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