I read this line in a book recently. And I loved it. That idea that we can we can be in the midst of having a great life, but not really be aware of how great that life is.
I think of my teenage kids. They’ve been lucky enough to be born into a family with two happy parents who love them and love spending time with them. Their basic needs are easily met and they’ve never felt the stress of not having things they need. They have good friends, go to a good school, are successful in who loves them and they go to a good school, are athletic and have good friends, etc, etc, etc.
They have a pretty great life. But do they know it? Not really, Like most teens, they seem to think more about what they don’t have than what they do have. The latest argument with friends. The party they weren’t invited to or the social media post they got left out of. The school assignment that is hard right now. I’m not saying these are not legitimate grievances, but I have been surprised at how these seem to ‘add up to’ a not so great life for them.
I’ve tried to call them on it at times. Saying ‘you actually have it really good.. you really have nothing to complain about’. Needless to say, this never ends very well.
And its not just kids.
We do the same thing. As do our other adult friends. We stress over the minor stresses in our lives and forget how good we actually have it. We’ve been swamped all month with back to school for the kids, work being busy, my wife doing a yoga instructor program thats proven more time consuming than we thought. But at the same time, we’ve still been going out with friends, making time for date nights, having good family time. In the grander scheme, we have nothing to complain about. Yet we do. We complain.
I don’t know much about Sam Cooke. But I know he was an awesome singer and a pretty important civil rights activist. He, by all accounts, had a pretty good life. I hope he knew it. I try to remember that I do too.