I grew up a huge (HUGE) lover of "Little House on the Prairie" and was always fascinated by the idea of life in the 1800's. At least once a month during some type of conversation, I turn to my husband (or whomever I'm sitting next to at the time) and say, "Can you imagine what Charles Ingalls would think?" I always wonder how he would react if he were suddenly transported through time and found himself in the middle of a modern-day situation like sitting in a moving vehicle in eight lanes of traffic. Or in a movie theater. How FREAKED out would his mind be?
So now you know how my mind works and where I'm coming from when I say - How miserable have we made ourselves as a society through advances in technology and sheer knowledge of how things could be?
I seriously woke up this morning with a huge case of "Why?" and it's been a bad day because of it. I then proceeded to read a few articles and blog posts online where other people are floating down the same river of despair about what they don't have, can't achieve, or haven't been given by God that others have.
Welcome to Modern Day Misery.
Think about it like Charles Ingalls. Back then, you worked for what you had and lived. If you had a big family, you worked harder to provide for it. If you had no children, then you had no children. That's just the way it was.
If you came down with a disease, then you either died or you didn't. There were no drug companies charging 1,000 times what the drug is worth - and if you couldn't pay for it, well, then, you don't deserve to live; thus creating the question of "Why is my life worth less?" There were no insurance companies to hate for creating huge gaps in who gets what coverage.
Having or not having children was not a question of whether you could mortgage your entire life to afford to try to make a baby - it was just whatever God handed you. School was learning. Banking was a building simply holding your money for you. You got around with your horse and wagon.
People supported one another with pies and prayers. AND THAT WAS GOOD ENOUGH.
My heavens what heartache and disappointment and unhappiness and uncontentedness we, as a society, have brought upon ourselves in the name of moving forward and "better" living.
Have you ever wondered what was so bad in the "old days" about just finding out that you have a disease and then living the time God had given you out? My friend with cancer said to me last week, "I felt just fine when I had cancer and didn't know it. Now I feel like hell every day because they are 'saving' me." She will, most likely, go on to live a long, full life because of her treatment; but many others do not, and live their days out miserable trying to be saved because modern medicine says they can do it.
Imagine if we as individuals retreated to the personal mindset of not controlling every aspect of everything and having it the way WE want it. Some things are, obviously, much better because of advancements in technology, medicine, and life in general. But many things just create disappointment and despair where there really need not be any if we just accepted what we can and cannot (or should not) control and moved forward with our lives from there.
If the soil and climate where you live are not suitable for growing a Crepe Myrtle tree, maybe you shouldn't try and spend thousands of dollars changing the soil, creating a false environment around the area, etc. Seriously - just plant a different kind of tree and live with and enjoy that tree. Or don't plant a tree at all.
But we get so caught up in what we CAN or MIGHT be able to make happen if we find the right tools, people, and technological advances, we never stop to think if we should or if it will just create a whole new stressful part of our lives to spend money on, obsess over, and then be crushed about if it doesn't work. And then - THEN - you are right back at the same point where you started - only financially and emotionally bankrupt - and questioning why God won't make it possible for you to have this tree that other people have.
The older I get and the more I deal with that is seemingly unfair, the more I learn that I am the purveyor of much of my own emotional stress. Yes, I'd be happier with this greater flooring or if my kids had been without their issues being raised or if I had a farm where I could rescue many more dogs - but focusing on what I don't have and how unhappy I am without those things or ways of life is of my OWN doing. And I'm probably missing a lot of what I could be doing and enjoying instead.
And I also realize that it is not at all fair to ask people around me to show grace and mercy for my attitude and emotional state surrounding something that I've built up MYSELF to be a huge monster to deal with.
Some circumstances are incredibly hard to accept and deal with and require outside help; and some just are what they are and the emotional tornado surrounding them is of our own doing. We need to acknowledge that, accept those circumstances, and adjust our attitudes accordingly.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.