We sometimes find ourselves at junctures in our lives which make us wonder: wouldn’t it be so much easier to be in someone else’s shoes at the moment?
I’ve had those moments, where I’ve regretted decisions. Sometimes, I might have even made the correct choices based on the given circumstance and still had to bear the brunt of my actions. Let’s just say that sometimes, there’s just no right way. You need to make peace with the limited choices in hand, neither of which may be acceptable to you. Helplessness ensues.
A lot of us are believers. If not in God, then in some force of the universe that binds things together. To some, it’s their way of keeping faith intact. To others it’s a way of rationalizing, (counter-intuitive as it may sound) events that don’t make sense otherwise. Humans often try to fit logic into events of their lives.
If someone happens to get opportunities that do not seem commensurate with his/her skills, then that person is lucky. There’s always a tendency to compare the quality of one’s life to another’s. The mind has a tendency to fixate on the negatives than positives (it’s called the negativity bias). And so when things seem to be going awfully wrong in our lives, not only do we think about them more, we also try to attribute them to external vague parameters like luck or the universe. Why? Because it seems rather arbitrary that we’re subject to harsher realities than others. Things we have had absolutely no control over. How can something as important as one’s own life be dictated by random events?
Privilege, I believe is something that is passed down across generations. And yes, I am definitely far more privileged than so many others around me. My parents put me through college and I shall be ever grateful for that. But I also did work really hard during college to get good grades. I have had my own share of struggles to reach here; academic, mental and emotional. To attribute my position to a mere instance of privilege is unfair. I do not take my position for granted.
We, as individuals often hate what situations make us do. We like to have a great deal of control over our lives. There are a lot of things that I don’t have in my control either and I feel helpless about. Should I start tearing down every other person around me for being less helpless? Is that the true measure of happiness?
I think as a society, we need to be far more altruistic than we are, currently. While it’s easier to breed negativity, attempts need to be made to perpetuate positivity as well. And it’s not as easy a task as it may seem, because it is so easy to get bogged down by failure.
I don’t think that exchanging places with someone who seems more fortunate helps. Effectively, the same number of people would still be miserable. What we can do is try and help other people out of their misery. Ensure that others don’t go through the same hardships that we’ve been through. Try to make the world a better place.