by Wendy Keller, blogger, baker, candlestick maker
A dear subscriber wrote me this morning to tell me she’s thinking of not going on FB anymore. She’s a single woman like me, and she said she’s read that many single women grow depressed looking at everyone else’s cheerful, happy, perfect lives so they stop reading posts.
I wrote her back and as I did, I realized this is something we must all consider: Lying!
My close friend recently traveled to Washington, DC to attend a wedding. The mother of the groom is a woman with whom we were both friends about 30 years ago. She and I lost touch, but they did not.
While my friend was there, the mother of the groom posted innumerable Facebook updates about all the wonderful things they were doing together. They saw all the monuments, went to museums and fabulous restaurants and even went dancing together! I was astonished that she was able to lavish such focused attention on our friend. I replied to some of her posts commenting that I wished I was with them, that I was glad they were having fun, etc. It was amazing and frankly, I felt left out.
Except later. When my friend got home, I exclaimed to her that I was surprised how focused and selfless the mother of the groom had been. That’s when she told me that they’d only had one breakfast together, and that everything else posted was…fake.
Fake! She lied!
When you look at other people’s lives – either driving past their fancy house in the best part of town, reading their FB updates, or listening to them tell you how wonderful everything is at the holiday party – may I suggest we all take it with a grain of salt? Or a block of salt! We never really know what’s going on behind the scenes, and how many times have you – like I just did – gotten surprised to find out the extent of the misrepresentation? I’ve had friends who told me how blissful their marriage was…right up to the week they filed for divorce. When my daughter was going through a rough time, a few people pointed out my flaws as a parent – and glorified their own precious darlings. Later, when those same kids had problems of their own as teenagers, suddenly it wasn’t all about the parenting skills.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we didn’t compare ourselves to others and judge ourselves inferior – or superior?
Since we never really walk a mile in another’s moccasins, we never really know the truth. As we grow in consciousness, it surely is in everyone’s best interests when we treat everyone with endless, abundant compassi0n….starting with ourselves.