I wanna be them!
One day a person was sitting on the stoep on a glorious sunny and windless Cape Town day, agitated and dissatisfied. The person was talking to someone who was very close and dear to them. “I know that I’ll be happy if I could be them,” the person said pointing to those people over there. “I will be content when I have what they’ve got. What I’ve got is no good. They are sooo happier than me. They are more successful than me….they are perfect, I wanna be them…not me!”
The someone who was very close and dear to the person replied; “OK lovey, well actually….they’ve been arguing, the husband and wife for months. He says that he is tired of her and doesn’t want to be with her anymore. She, unknown to him has been having a meaningless affair, which she regrets and doesn’t understand. They’re both unhappy but nonetheless worry about the kids finding out what’s going on between them. At least they both love their kids… is that what you are wanting?”
The person felt somewhat confused and said, “Hmmm…well…..hmmm…not sure really…ok perhaps I didn’t know that stuff about them but what about them, those other ones over there?”
“I know that I’ll be happy if I could be them. I will be content when I have what they’ve got. What I’ve got is no good. They are happier than me. They are more successful than me….they are perfect, I wanna be them…not me!” said the person again.
“Funny you should say that,” the someone said. “Actually….he works incredibly hard in his business, a magical entrepreneur, and provides well for his family but his stress levels are through the roof! In trying to escape his stress, he has become addicted to cocaine and loses buckets of money gambling on the horses. He is about to have triple bypass surgery on his heart….. ….is that better than what you’ve got?”
The person moaned meekly, “are you positive that stuff is true….how could I have known that?”
A silent pause. Doggedly the person insisted, “But c’mon, look at them there, those other ones! I know that I’ll be happy if I could be them. I will be content when I have what they’ve got. What I’ve got is no good. They are happier than me. They are more successful than me….they are perfect, I wanna be them…not me!”
“Try to keep up my darling, did you know that her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s some time ago. She visits her often but on most occasions her mom doesn’t recognise her. It’s devastating for her, they were so close. She doesn’t know what to tell the kids, they just want to be with granny like they used to, they get so sad…..so…. that’s what you want is it?!”
Bewildered, the person lamented, “Ag shame man! That’s dreadful for them all! How come we didn’t know about this?”
Pensive moment. “Just hold on,” he said, with hopeful zeal in his voice, “look at that person over there!” “I know that I’ll be happy if I could be that person. I will be content when I have what that persons got. What I’ve got is no good. That person is happier than me. That person is more successful than me….that person is perfect, I wanna be that one…not me!”
“Lovey…. I’ve listened to that person, often. I spend buckets of time with that person. That person continually bemoans the life they have, always comparing themselves to others they imagine don’t have the normal stuff that every person in the world has. That person is unable to see, let alone value, the beautiful qualities, gifts, and talents they are blessed with. Stubbornly refusing to accept and value their burdens and challenges.
Always looking in the wrong place to find the answers that would help; ignoring their life which is rich and full with love and meaning and challenge. So….is that really who you yearn to be?”
Head lowered slightly the person replied…“They’ve got pretty much what I’ve got, the person admitted in a bemused tone. I can’t really tell them apart from me. If I didn’t know better I would have to believe that you were talking about me!”
Silence, on a windless sunny glorious day in Cape Town, sitting on the stoep.
“I am happy that I am that person. I am content with what that person’s got. What I’ve got is good, not easy, but still good. I am happy…with my lot. I am successful. I am not perfect… which person is perfect…which person wants to be perfect? I am trying hard to be me. That’s all I can do really.”
“Good choice my love!”