This I believe. Life is not perfect. Humans are even less perfect. This kayotic world filled with far from picture perfect lives and humans that never fit the mold, it can seem impossible to accomplish anything significant. Every day can feel like an uphill battle against the universe.
I was brought up to believe that the “All American Dream”; the nice house, two or more mice cars, a boat, travel, toys, etc.; were easily obtainable. I traveled to places that most adults have never even heard of during their adolescence. During the construction of my parent’s dream home, the city of South Jordan held a town meeting trying to prevent its completion. The neighborhood complained that the size of the house would make their homes look “too small”. Their complaints were not effective. My parents always bought the nicest sports cars, the nicest trust, and the nicest SUV’s on the market. Just for the two of them to drive. We also possessed more airplanes in our family of seven, then anyone I have yet to meet in person. The cost of all of these extras, and extravagant toys, was more than any dollar amount. My parents lost everything because of their greed and ignorance. The dollar amount worth of their possessions may have been high, but their family and futures costs more.
This I believe. Money is not everything. Happiness is not measured by your assets. No one ever really knows what goes on over their neighbor’s fence. Everyone thought that all of the things that my parent’s owned made them the perfect family. People were jealous of our lifestyle. Unknowing to the neighbors; during the time that my family lived in South Jordan, my mother spent two years in her bed because of a severe migraine. CT Scans, MRI’s and countless blood work was done to find the cause. But Doctors could never figure out the problem, so they gave her the latest and greatest in pain medication. Oxycodone. No doctor ever realized that she may become addicted to the obscene amounts of prescription heroin they were giving her.
They never thought that she may suffer horrible side affects, including depression, suicidal attempts, weight loss, and anxiety. While the neighbors saw maids and nannies coming and going from the home, they commented on my mother’s luck. She found a man that really could take care of her. The perfect family, the perfect home, and the perfect lifestyle always comes with a price. After my mother became numb to her pain, she finally attempted parenting again. The only downfall was that I was not the teenage daughter that she had hoped for. I became the burden for my family. My teenage years were filled with rebellion and anger, similar to many others. The thought of the “neighbors seeing my imperfections as a basis for the family as a whole”, was too much for my parents to handle. First I was moved out, that did not work. Then we all moved to another state, that did not work either. Finally we sold the house in South Jordan and moved to then deserted Herriman. Every family has to make sacrifices; for my family, I was it.
After twenty four years of always making the wrong decisions and learning life’s little lessons in my own special way, I have very little advice. I do not know everything, and the things that I think I know are probably wrong. But this is what I have to share with the world. Life is far from perfect. Humans are even further from perfection. Someone can spend their entire life comparing themselves to their neighbors, and never feel as though their lives are complete; but if they look closer at their neighbors, maybe they will find pain and suffering similar to their own. Possessions do not only cost money.
This I believe. No one can ever fully understand another’s sufferings. Always keep your mind and your heart open to the people around you. Do not let appearances or jealousy or greed blind you from others.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.