IS the Grass Greener On the Other Side?

Lately I’ve been thinking about how many people want to move, to get out, to find a new place to live.  They complain that they don’t have a social life, they complain that their work isn’t fulfilling, in short they just aren’t happy.  For so many of these people, I want to just tell them, you know… happiness is a state of mind as much as a state of being, right?

Don’t get me wrong… situations can make you unhappy.  But, if you are unhappy in one place and move to another, don’t be surprised if you’re still unhappy.  After all, moving to a new place won’t give you a better social life, working at making friends and getting out there could, though.  After all, if you sit home and watch TV in the US, you’ll be just as socially unhappy as you were in Jordan at home alone watching TV (or worse, with mom and dad).  And if you hated your profession in America, you’ll hate it in Jordan too.

The bottom line is that the grass is almost never greener on the other side.  It is however, almost always greener if you smile.  The Beans and I have talked about the fact that if you’re feeling a bit sad for no real reason, you’ll feel better if you smile.  I’m not making this one up.  You know something else, if you smile before you answer the phone, you’ll sound more pleasant.  People can actually HEAR you smile.

There are people in this world who see the glass as half empty all the time.  You can often tell them by the frown lines carved into their faces.  In addition, if you catch their face at rest, they will wear a frown.  There are people in the world who see the glass as overflowing.  Those are the ones who have laugh lines engraved around their mouths and eyes.  If you catch them at rest, their face will be either neutral or slightly smiling.  And the question you have to ask yourself is…which kind do I want to be?  So, don’t change your latitude to find happiness – change your attitude!

Happy Altitude Changes!


8 thoughts on “IS the Grass Greener On the Other Side?

  1. I wonder if you smile when you are besieged by smokers in the mall. My basic and most important issue is respect. When members of a society are civil and respectful towards one another, then that’s where I want to live. When they are uncivil and disrespectful of others, then I want out. What society do you find yourself in?

    • Joe, I try to smile as I tell them to put out the cigarette… I also call the shabab ibni ;). So you can imagine that they are smiling… When people answer rudely, then the smile isn’t necessarily in place. But, this is more about being satisfied with WHO you are rather than thinking you will be happier depending on WHERE you are.

    • Joe, that’s not so much civilized as dream ;). In the US, until they passed laws, enforced them, and reached a critical majority… you had to ask (not that the US is overly civilized, but…).

  2. I would have to concur with joe on this one: It is not some much the happiness; it is the living your life without having the others constantly interfering with every little detail about your life, I call it annoyance, i call it freedom to choose what to answer and what to withold, in Jordan you have to almost explain every little detail about your life even when the matters are extremely personal in nature and you don,t want to discuss it with anyone, imagine when you go to visit someone they even want to know which route did you travel through to get to their house, why is that so important? When you go to the doctor they want to know the name of the doctor his qualifications the degrees he earned and from where and who referred you to him. If you buy new television set they want to know where you bought it from and how much did you pay and how you could have gotten it cheaper at the other place that they know and why you did not say anything they could have used theie influence or wasta to get you the best deal. These kinds of lack of personal freedoms were among the reasons that drove me out of Jordan .In Jordan it does not matter if you smile or frown, it does not matter if you see the glass half full or half empty it all boils down to the same conclusion, people are very nosey they want to know what the hell is inside every shopping bag you bring into the house. They always have a remedy ready for you, and if they personally don not have the skills necessary for that particular remedy they will refer you to a place where you can get full remedial course, not necessarily in education but in every darn aspect about life. I honestly envy you for maintaining positive mental attitude five years later, I personally lost it after one long year.

    • Max, I definitely get where you are coming from. Being American (and a woman) makes it easier. After all, I can refuse to answer questions with a “oh, my husband handles that.” I use that all the time. And even if I simply ignore the question, I get the “American pass” where they assume I’m ____ (rude, oblivious, weird, insane) because I’m AMerican and we have odd ideas ;). So, I do know what you mean about nosiness and too much community. But what I’m getting at is actually different. Are you generally happy in the US? If so, a change in situation to Jordan can make you less happy. But if you were, say, unhappy in the US because of X, Y, and Z reasons and you move to Jordan. Suddenly you find that you are happy with X, Y, and Z but unhappy with A, B, and C. Then you move to the UK and find that you are unhappy with… at some point you should realize that it IS you and it IS a choice. Fot the Beans, they can make the choice to be unhappy that they on’t get the front seat of the car (middle row of course) or they can choose to be happy about it. It is their choice. That’s rather my point ;).

  3. Great observations! I totally agree. My grandmother used to tell me, “Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone.” It’s true. Of course I have another saying on my wall in the kitchen that says, “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you get your way.” While tears may manipulate some folks, I don’t think this one is true as often. You may not appreciate those that the tears manipulate, and the outcome isn’t usually what we really want! We want closeness, and we get that by relating to others and being a friend. I don’t want to have friends who are friends because I have manipulated them — I want them because I share things with them, activities, goals, view of life, etc. Thanks for reminding us of this!

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