Life is so good these days. We have cars. We have railroads. We have Netflix. We have televisions. We have sports and entertainment. We have so many things that we take for granted.
Never in life have we lived so well and comfortably. Never in life have we had so many comforts and conveniences at the tips of our fingers.
We have microwaves, electric gas ranges, functional toilets, and the list goes on and on. We, as Americans, are living in one of the most prosperous times our nation (and the world) has ever seen.
So, why are there still so many people suffering a mental health crisis these days? Why is depression and anxiety constantly on the rise?
Why is there so much danger and distress in this world? Even while our standard of living has considerably gotten better over the years.
Do these external benefits not mean as much as we think they do? Does a million dollars not solve every single human problem in the world?
It’s hard to gauge. It’s hard to research. It seems like external comforts and conveniences in life can only get you so far. Maybe it’s the hedonic treadmill working at play here. Maybe we just get used to our comforts and yearn for more.
More money. More convenience. More, more, and more. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Without this desire for more, where would all our inventions and innovation come from?
It’s just that sometimes, we are too spoiled with riches. Too enamored with getting more comfort and more wealth. We don’t realize how good we have it. Especially compared with the developing nations of the world. Or with how life used to be one hundred to two hundred years ago.
Look at all the breakthroughs that science has given us. The average lifespan of a human has increased considerably. And we are living better than ever.
So, again, why is there still so much distress and anxiety in this world? Even with the coronavirus or not, our standard of living has risen so much over the years.
I guess it’s just human nature to never be satisfied. But, sometimes, we just need to take a step back and realize that we have it good. That we have a lot of comforts and conveniences at the tips of our finger. At our disposal at a whim.
We can buy clothes and food so easily now. Things are delivered to our doorstep - with Seamless, and Uber Eats, and Amazon Prime. Everything is just so easy to get nowadays.
We have GPS telling us where to go and how to get there and how long it takes to get there. We don’t have to rely on these clumsy maps anymore.
Yes, standard of living has risen considerably and it’s hard not to be impressed. When we take a step back, we need to see all the comforts and beauties that we have in the here and now.
It’s part of what makes our country so great. So developed. So inherently convenient and beautiful. Just take a step back and smell the roses. Focus on the good instead of the bad. Focus on what we have instead of what we don’t.
By all means, compare life now to life when your grandparents were still young children. Imagine how much better life is now than it was before. Use your creativity to see how fundamentally lucky we are as a generation.
How even the most mundane thing as walking down the street with a coffee in hand can be appreciated and savored. How we have the funds to buy a coffee. How we have the capacity to walk and breathe. How we have the clothing on our backs to keep us warm in the midst of the cold. How we have a home to walk back to.
Most of us are that lucky. It’s like we have won the lottery so to speak. It’s that good. At least, it should be that good. So, why don’t we make that picture a reality?
Appreciate our standard of living. Appreciate how things are comparatively so much better than before. Appreciate the mundane things that we have in life. Our clothes on our back. The food on our table. The generosity of our friends and family. The ability to give back. The capacity to function like a full-fledged human being.
We have it all. And we have it right now at our finger tips. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be sadness and suffering and heartbreak in this world. But, don’t let that get you down. It’s still a world full of possibilities and optimism. If we use the right mindset, we can wake up with a well of gratitude and appreciation for everything there is in this world.
That’s the vision. And it’s completely within our control. And it’s what we can possibly make a reality for our generation and future generations to come.