In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
– Patti Smith
We live in an era of instant ‘sharing’ and ‘communicating’. Internet has drastically altered – for better and for worse – how we interact with one another; and it also shows us much more to aspire to (both spiritually and materially). Whether we realize it or not, we’re constantly being told what we should aim for in life. Our definition of happiness and success is strongly influenced by what we see and receive through these new channels – particularly social media.
It’s so easy to fall in the trap of believing that other people’s lives are carefree and perfect, just because it looks that way on their Facebook and Instagram photos. People also believe now that their personal worth relies on how many ‘friends’ they have on Facebook or how many ‘likes’ they get for their photos. The younger generations are particularly at risk.
Everything moves at such a fast pace these days, too. The emphasis of most media is usually on appearance and monetary worth. Society defines success for us as a collection of items we should have: relationships, business projects, houses, invitations to events, certain brands of accessories and clothes and things. Always more things! When we see the photos and read the posts, we can fall under the spell of false happiness: people look like they’re having the time of their lives; hanging out with all those persons we assume are their friends; doing all these exciting things; travelling and living life ‘to the fullest’.
Are we really happy? Or are we just ‘posing’ as happy so that we can be perceived as having ‘fulfilled the dream’ of a happy life?
The things that matter are seldom those which can be showed off. The important parts of our lives, the ones that define us, are those that we think about when we are by ourselves, in our space, feeling not-so-well. Those are the things that can help us overcome the darkest stages of our lives. Self-love. Family. Friends. And many more…
Once in a while, it’s worth asking ourselves: is our happiness real? A tough question, certainly; but one we must ask in order to live an authentic life.
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