• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 194 (Cure for Irrational Jealousy)

    judgingothers

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  0.00 miles;  Running Total: 149.85 miles)

    Day 194 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    The other day (not today, as you can tell from the big fat 0 miles up there), I was watching Good Morning America while on the elliptical machine when a strange thing occurred to me: I was jealous of the newscasters.

    At first I couldn’t identify why. My jealousy was completely irrational.  I have a pretty good life. A great family. Wonderful friends. Why would I be jealous of these total strangers?

    It took me a minute, but I finally nailed it down.

    I was jealous of these people because they look like nothing is wrong with them. Like nothing ever could be wrong with them.

    Yeah, I know two women on GMA have had breast cancer. But they just look so put together.

    Their hair is perfect. Their makeup is perfect. Their clothes look good on them.  They look like they haven’t got a care in the world except to report the weather or interview New Kids on the Block fans drooling over the upcoming reunion tour.

    This put-together-ness. . . It’s an illusion.

    An illusion that I, however briefly, bought into.

    Hence, jealousy.

    It’s hard not to make snap judgments about people. I do it all the time. Most of the time I don’t even catch myself doing it.

    I’m not talking about the snap judgments like you’re alone in a dark alley and a guy is skulking toward you with a hoodie hiding his face but don’t judge him, maybe he’s just going to ask you for directions.

    Uh, no.

    A snap judgment in that case could save your life.

    Oh, and run.  Please.

    And for the love of God, stay out of dark alleys.

    I’m talking about the snap judgments like I made about the people on television. The snap judgments that assume everything is perfect in their world just because they managed to put on a good face.

    Being famous or dressing well or wearing the perfect shade of lipstick doesn’t exempt anyone from bad shit happening to them.

    I don’t know what their personal lives are like.

    Who knows? Maybe one of them has a senile parent living at home with them. Maybe one of them has a chronically sick child. Maybe they have financial troubles.

    I was jealous because I made assumptions about these people without even knowing them. I don’t know what they’re going through in their personal lives any more than I know what the person behind me in the grocery store or next to me at the bank is going through.

    I’ve never walked in their shoes, and they’ve never walked in mine.

    Celebrities aren’t exempt from problems. They’re human, too. They’re just as subject to illness and catastrophe as anyone else. They just happen to be in the public eye. If anything living such a spotlighted life probably makes it harder, not easier, when going through a personal crisis.

    Today’s silver lining:  At least I caught myself judging this time.

    The next time I assume everything is rosy for someone else, it’ll do me good to remember that we all get overwhelmed sometimes. And maybe if I keep that in mind, then I’ll be a little more capable of compassion rather than jealousy.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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One Responseso far.

  1. Josh says:

    You might enjoy watching The Weather Man (Nicolas Cage film).
    It is not going to go down as one of the great films of our generation, but given your blog post topic, you might be amused by the film.

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