Dear Greta

I don’t think I am going to get what I want in life, compared to what other people get. What’s the point?

Hi. Thanks for stopping by, and wow, okay. You sound low.

Make yourself a nice, hot chocolate if you can.

Now, you’ve asked, so here’s what I think:

  1. You start by predicting a future that is unknowable.

Have you have the gift of prophecy? Can you see the future? Because you speak as if you can. Don’t judge the whole of your life by days, weeks, months or years of not being where you want to be. Life can change in a second. And it can also change, very slowly, over many years. The biggest favour you can do yourself is to believe that anything is possible.

Here’s something else: what you want in life and what you need from life are often two different things. The irony is you have to live life in order to find out which is which.

  1. You continue by comparing your life to that of others.

Stop that immediately. It’s not clever and it certainly won’t help you.

Comparing yourself to anyone else isn’t helpful. We’re all unique. Our paths are different – even when they look similar.

For thousands of years, human life has been about survival – not fun, and certainly not ‘having it your way’. Along the way we may experience wonderful things, meaningful moments, incredible people. But these things were always a bonus, not par for the course. Some people act as if only great things happen to them. This is bullshit. Learn to discern, my friend.

  1. You end with a negative ‘I’m giving up’ type emotion.

Any life has to be built from scratch – often against severe opposing forces, often in less than favourable conditions. Do not think less of yourself for experiencing life as it is; millions of us struggle with our daily existence. But struggles form us.

The human condition is recognisably less than perfect. On the macro level this means war, famine, disease or calamity. On the micro – or personal level – this can encompass anything from a stultifying feeling of worthlessness and futility to bereavement, sickness and loss.

I interviewed a man once whose sister was shot in the head by militia in Darfur – just as she came out of her tent in the morning.


Because the bastards felt like it, that’s all.

That man could have given up, he could have pursued a murderous vengeance. He could have decided that life was shit and killed himself. Instead, he started a group to help people in Darfur. His work has touched thousands of lives to date.

So why give up just when you’ve had a moment of profound connection with your humanity? Instead, why not use this new insight to grow as a person, to reach out and connect with others, to help when and where you can?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life’s called ‘the vale of tears’ not ‘happy valley’. But in this valley lies opportunity, every second of every day, to find yourself and others – and learn what it is to be human and alive.

I hope this helps.

And I hope you feel a little better after your hot chocolate.






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