(It’s bad to be envious.)
My mom often told me this while I was growing up. Even today, actually. In a world where everyone was having roller skates, shoes with wheels (remember those?!), Bratz dolls, Tamagotchis, yoyos, Gameboys, etc., I was always the only child in class to “rise above” the trend of the season. While my classmates were busy tapping on their Nintendos in-between classes, I was busy poring through my Archie comics I brought to class. In the process, I actually made my whole sixth grade class read them as well! They were very curious why I’m not playing the latest Pokemon releases. 😂I’m not saying giving children these toys are bad because Lord knows they’re enjoyable. But, I digress.
Growing up, I was always the one to acknowledge a trend and ask my mom for money to buy the said toys. Early on, my mom has taught me not to give in to these. Saying the quote above–always. And that “mawawala din yan sa uso (that will go out of trend soon)”. And it was always okay for me. It was always okay not to have these material things, these unimportant material things. But, more often than not, I always make my last argument as this: “But everyone has it.” My mom will then give me the look (you know the look, right? :P)and say the above quote again. And I was still okay. Every time I see someone with something cool and I know I can’t afford it, I remember my mother’s wise advice. I hear her voice in my head and it levels my mind way before I do or splurge on something not worth it.
However, growing a little older, especially when I was shipped off to university, I was exposed to more of these “Nintendos” in my world. It didn’t help that social medias were in the rise. I always felt that I should be doing more and going abroad and shopping–MORE. The key word is MORE. And somehow along the line I knew something was not right here, that something was amiss. But I didn’t dare give in to it because I have to get in step with the world–for the sake of my Instagram feed! I quickly unlearned the advice my mom always reminded me with.
More often than not, I look at other people’s Instagram feed and I feel a little bad. And that makes me so immature, really. I cannot be genuinely happy for these people that I know since I also have to do THAT. I also need to have THAT shot. THAT body. And it’s heartbreaking because I have long since deviated from being that content child to this too-world-conscious adult. What would my mom say?
This morning, my Bible devotion was that tackling jealousy. (Perhaps, envy is a better term?) It made me think about all these things I’m trying to keep up with–cosmetics, the news, fashion, fitness, travel, books, career, looks–it could go on and on and on. And since humans have unlimited wants (ahahaha I’m an Econ major yay I still remember stuff jk 😜), it would be a real grueling work for us to catch up to our wants because there will always be MORE wants after. In some cases, that fuels development; in some cases, strife and destruction. Wanting more can be a drive to do better, but on the other side of the spectrum, wanting more can be a sign of lack of contentment. I often get so focused on pushing myself for more that at times I feel so pressured. Which is really stupid because (LOL) I inflict that to myself. At times, I feel like I’ll forever be this dissatisfied shell of a person because I often forget that happiness, satisfaction and contentment doesn’t lie to the fact that we have everything in order, that we are on top of every world trend or that we are the best. And as for me, I find contentment comes to the sheer want of simplicity in my life. You wouldn’t imagine the daily blessings God has put in my way for leading a (slightly 😛) less complicated life. And sure, I still often feel that I’m not enough (I don’t think that will ever stop, to be honest) but I’m trying to learn and focus on what I am and what I can do rather than to look at other people and tell myself that I SHOULD BE LIKE THAT. There’s no contentment at that and there’s no happiness in jealousy. And as far as that popular quote goes:
Blowing out another person’s candle will not make yours any brighter.
We don’t need to be one thing because our friend, that celebrity, our cousin, our boss is doing this or that. We need to do things because we want to.
It’s a world of uncertainty and of more, more, more. And I hope and pray, that somewhere down the line we all acknowledge that in our own way, we are enough. It’s often hard to wrap our heads around it but we are. It’s not bad to want more, but there should always be room for simplicity and contentment in our hearts. And I thank God for that motherly voice in my head for always reminding me that I don’t necessarily need everything this world is trying to offer to me.
Anyway yeah, bye for now! 🙂
Header image via Stocksnap