Many years ago in Nigeria, people went crazy about a soap opera called “the rich also cry”. It wasn’t cast in Nigeria nor was any of the actors Nigerian but almost everyone was captivated. I think the reason is because it exposed a phenomena that transcended race and nationality; the fact that even people who seem to have it all also have their share of agony, pain and emotional struggles. It portrayed the life of affluence and indulgence intermingled with forbidden love and emotional warfare.
I have always loved drama, everyone teases me about that. How else can you explain why i don’t miss TV shows like Revenge, Scandal, Haves and Have Nots, How To Get Away With Murder etc. Some of these shows have wonderful casts but some are so badly acted however, I see in them a representation of certain human realities even if they are slightly exaggerated. I don’t think I really love drama, what I love is watching it on Television.
That’s why I get angry when someone says, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. Who told you it is? What shade of green is green to you? Honestly, I think that whoever said those words the first time must be a very greedy and insatiable person. Granted, we all have a tendency to wanting to jump across the fence after all, we all like good things. But how do you know for sure that the other guy has it better? What makes you think he is better or happier simply because he seems to be? How much details about the lives of your friends and colleagues do you really have?
My mind always goes back to my childhood. My dad is back from his job as a junior civil servant, mum is back from her stall in the local market where she does petty trading, my siblings and I are back from school. I have helped mum to prepare dinner, a modest meal of mainly home grown vegetables with rice or yam or fufu with minimal meat and or fish. The table is set with a big bowl of food, cups of water and spoons if it is rice , beans or yam. Most other meals we ate with bare hands. I can still see the smiling faces as we sit round our dwarf center table that serves as our dining table too. I can still hear my father saying a prayer before the meals and the chattering that follows as we all eat from one large bowl. I really miss those days. We laughed and joked and enjoyed our wholesome meal. We were happy. We didn’t have a lot of money but we were happy and our grass was green enough.
My point is that green has many shades so also our priorities and goals have different dimensions and directions. Contentment is the key. Instead of trying to jump over the fence, why not stay and nurture your grass? Why not make it the shade of green you want it to be?
Happiness comes from within so instead of wanting to be some other person, why not be the best of you? The rich also cry. The flashy people you meet on the streets or at your job or the ones you watch on TV may actually be contemplating suicide if they haven’t tried it already. They say that your headache is as big as your head. Learn to show gratitude for all the little things in your life. Stay in your own side of the fence because you never know what really is on the other side.