I was envious of his car, a BMW, a beautifully made vehicle. And his big house, with all the life options it offered. And his career, working a lot, but earning a lot. He had no real troubles. He took his kids to football and dance practice. I could see he was happy. But how could I know?
Success on the outside doesn’t mean success on the inside. I had no idea what was going on inside his head. Then I found out he suffered from depression. And insecurity. Impossible, right? But, it was happening. And then I heard he got a divorce. A devastating thing to go through, splitting from your partner.
We’ve all got it pretty good. At least, in the First World, but even in Africa. For the average person, it’s the best it’s ever been in the history of humankind. Worried about being robbed by bandits? Not so much anymore. Losing half your children in childbirth? Not really.
Lifespan, up; General health: up. Incidence of assault and robbery: down. Females CEOs: going up every year in the US. Black and brown minorities fill our judge seats, academic faculties, and medical professions. We even elected a black person as president after a history of slavery.
But that doesn’t mean injustice and wrongs don’t happen. We are human after all, with immorality and prejudging seeded in each of us. After appreciating the good life, we can still make our community a better place by helping each other, by taking responsibility for being a good neighbor.
Gratitude and love are still the most critical parts of human life. That has not changed. What has changed is your environment. It is a much safer place, and more fruitful than it has ever been.
Yes, the kings and moneyed class still control more than you. But they’re not more happy than you.
Choose your own game.
Because we don’t need the kings anymore.
Photo credit: Aubrey Marcus podcast