(My regular ‘Personal View’ piece for Goldsworth News – the magazine for Goldsworth Park – published in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue)
Have you spotted the guy in Goldsworth Park with a blue wheelchair, sometimes riding, sometimes (painstakingly) pushing? If you ask why he chooses the more difficult option, he says “it’s because I can”.
It’s easy to moan about things we can’t do instead of celebrating and doing what we can, and to grumble about things we don’t possess instead looking around and being grateful for what we already have.
Adverts and articles try to persuade us what we should buy, where we should go and how we should think. Clever marketers aim to make us believe we’re second-rate if we’re not wearing the latest clothes, using the latest gadgets and showing off the “smartest” phone.
People say they’re unhappy or depressed because stories about the rich and famous make them feel inferior. They crave celebrities’ success and fortune, their lifestyles and possessions.
And as we’ve see over the last couple of years, people are increasingly influenced by what they read on social media, which was successfully exploited by Corbyn supporters during last year’s General Election but ignored by the Conservatives.
We’re never out of the marketers’ sights; even when get the “special” something we craved, happiness is short-lived because we’re already being persuaded we need something else: the latest style, the newest model, the smartest gadget.
So to be happy, just be content with what you have and what you‘re able to do! Don’t complain when you already have is much more than most people in the world will ever have or achieve.
Don’t complain too much when your arm aches or your leg is painful. Many would be grateful for limbs, or for them to work as well as yours. Don’t fuss when a baby’s cry disturbs you in the shops or a café. The deaf and blind would be delighted to hear and see it.
When you start counting your blessings instead of moaning, your whole life will be turned around. So, cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and for all you achieve. Thank people who are good to you. Whether you have faith or none, just try saying “Thank you God” that your life even at its lowest is much better than that of most people in the world. “Thank you” is the best prayer anyone can say: it expresses gratitude, humility and understanding.
And by the way, if you encounter that man struggling with the blue wheelchair somewhere around the Park, say “hello”, for he might be your contented Goldsworth News correspondent …