I just turned off my television in disgust. This misery fest that has engulfed our nation is getting very old and out of hand. However, it appears that everyone, including the politicians, the news media, and the people, are having a grand time being miserable! Why? Our country in spite of its problems is still, by far, the greatest nation in the world. No other country can come close to matching the military power, the freedoms, and the opportunities offered to citizens in The United States of America. Nevertheless, misery seems to be taking over the country.
Whether it is politics, the economy, world events, or simple everyday life, it seems misery is fast becoming a way of life in America. Every day, more and more people appear to be jumping on the misery bandwagon. Maybe, it gives them a sense of self-importance or a sense of camaraderie with other miserable people. Maybe, miserable people sustain one another by providing empathy and encouragement to each other. I don/t know, but for some reason, the ranks of the miserable are swelling.
In today’s society, miserable people are more likely to be accepted than happy people. It is unfortunate, but happy people tend to make unhappy people uncomfortable. The reason is that happy takes effort while misery grows freely like weeds in an unkempt garden. Like bad habits, the weeds are allowed to fester and grow until the garden as a whole is poisoned and smothered out completely. To this point, I have listed ten of the most common habits of miserable people below. As you will see, most of these habits, like common weeds in a garden, occur with little or no effort.
Ten Habits of Miserable People
- Stuck in an on-going relationship with a cell phone. People who constantly have a cell phone at their ear or in front of their nose often do so at the expense of family and friends. Over time they grow more disjointed from those that matter most;
- Living your life as an impending funeral rather than a celebration. Yes, the world is a mess, and God may indeed intervene soon, but that doesn’t mean you must be miserable while you wait. God expects us to be prepared for his return, but in the meantime, he put us on earth to love life, love others, and love ourselves. He didn’t put us here to worry when the world will end, or to use his return to scare the hell out of people;
- Keeping things pent up inside. Sometimes you just need to go into a closet and scream or say a bad word. Sometimes it is okay to relax and indulge in that second glass or bottle of wine;
- Taking yourself too seriously! Every once in a while, it is okay to laugh a little, act silly, read something none political, read something non-religious, read something unromantic, read something not work-related, and indulge in the lighter side! Turn the news off! Shred the newspaper! Listen to children’s songs instead of the radio! Go to the park and swing from the monkey bars! Read Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, or Mark Twain! Fart occasionally!
- Having nothing better to do than be bored or engaged in self-pity. Idle time rarely breeds anything worthwhile, and it does nothing to cure boredom or self-pity. People need face to face human engagement and stimulation that cannot be provided over a cell phone or in front of a computer;
- Waking up looking for something to be pissed off about. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed is a personal choice! Nobody controls your outlook on life and people, but you!
- Blaming others and playing the part of the victim! Those who point fingers rather than seek solutions are the problem. Those who point out blame enjoy the role of the victim;
- Glorifying the past! Like the present, the past is no better and no worse than you made it. You are living tomorrow’s “good old days,” so make the best of it today.
- Believing everything seen, heard, or read in the news or social media! Occasionally, tune out the outside world and tune in the inside world of family and friends to discover what really matters. There is nothing on a TV, cell, tablet, or computer screen more important than family and friends;
- Enjoy misery! Miserable people enjoy misery – the misery of others as well as their own. If they didn’t, they would not let it consume their lives.
Look around! You will more than likely see people entangled in these habits everywhere. Turn on your television or sign-in to Facebook or some other social media, and these habits will jump out at you. Unfortunately, America is in love with misery, but why shouldn’t it be? Misery is easy; happiness takes work!
©Jack Linton, July 31, 2016