In secondary school, we were taught about mirages in our Physics class. We got to know that they were optical illusions. A typical example was when a sheet of water appeared in the desert or on a hot road and this was caused by light being distorted by alternate layers of hot and cool air. Our understanding of mirages was that false images could appear real from a distance.
Some lives can be false on the inside but appear flamboyant on the outside. Like mirages, the closer you get, the more the flamboyance vanishes. Some successes are not what they seem to be in the tabloids— huge figures on social media but huge debts in reality. Beautiful shoes but rotten feet!
Growing up, I have come to understand the concept of mirages in real life even better. I have come to know that some lives are like mirages. They look all rosy from a distance but are the exact opposite when you get closer. The more one understands mirages, the better they will appreciate who they are and what they have.
The irony of life is that some people you wish to be like… wish to be like you. Many of those you aspire to actually aspire to be like you. They wish they had your peace. They wish they had your wisdom. Others have what you wish to have but wish they were you!
Oftentimes, we look at the green pastures of others and get jealous. We see their all blossomy life and curse the day we were born. We see our friends in the possession of all manner of gadgets, making us feel as though we have wasted our lives. We observe all the luxury our colleagues may be enjoying and wish we were in their shoes— literally.
When you see your friends ‘blessed’, be happy for them but envy no one. Some blessings are genuine— they were borne out of hard work. Some blessings are not— they are only a cover-up. Just like the beautiful shoes of a person, you can only assume how their feet look like. Some feet are healthy. Others are rotten!
Sometimes, we kill ourselves trying to live someone’s fake life. We put undue pressure on everyone around us just to match another person’s definition of success. Listen. There’s no success greater than being content with what you have— whether little or much. There’s no fulfillment weightier than being fulfilled with the little (or much) your efforts have yielded.
Dream big but while on your journey to achieve greater things, be satisfied with what you have now. Let the heights others have reached inspire you to work harder but while working hard, never wish for a second you were in their shoes. Be content with you. Be grateful with you!
Life may not always be what it appears to be. When you see how a woman’s face can be overwhelmingly transformed by makeup accessories, you get to know that life can be a façade. Beneath the spotless face is a crumpled skin people may be hiding. Don’t fall for everything you see. No one trumpets their fallibility!
Many have beautiful shoes on but smelly feet. Beneath their amazing outfits are scars and wounds they never will tell you about. They seem to have it all but deep within, they weep that they have nothing. They live in plush apartments and drive flashy cars but in their closets, they know your supposed nothingness far outweighs their supposed abundance. Sometimes, you are more successful than those whose success you envy!
Never wish to be like someone. Never begrudge God for not creating you like another man. Some beautiful shoes you see out there are covering swollen feet. Never wish you had what someone had. Some cars are loans on wheels! Some beautiful weddings are debts of gowns and suits! Some supposed successful lives are struggling to have a three square meal!
Some celebrities wish they could, at least, have what you have. They pose inexpensive clothing you can afford but they can’t yet… you wish you were in their shoes. Some supposed successful entrepreneurs wish they could be you. You wish to have their freedom. They wish to have your assured monthly salary. In this life, learn to be content with who you are and what you have.
Beautiful shoes cover rotten feet. Some people may look successful on the outside but deep within, they are on life support of huge debts. Success is sometimes not really what it looks like on the outside!
Some things are not what they appear to be. They are just mirages. It is needless to stress yourself over the supposed classy lives of others on social media. Some lives look better than yours because they were captured with rented cameras. Some people look better than you do because their lives have been overly edited for you to see only the appealing segments. Envy none!
Rotten feet in beautiful shoes only look disgusting when those shoes are taken off. Until you take the shoes off, everyone assumes those feet are the most beautiful. If life were to take the veil off some lives, you would have known how blessed you are to have your little. If you had the opportunity to meet others beyond social media, you would have been jealous of none.
No matter the beauty of your shoes, be proud of them. Feel confident in them. Have confidence in your skills and talents. Keep honing those abilities. Before you admire anybody else, admire yourself first. Celebrate yourself as much as you celebrate others. Be content with your content!
Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications ( www.scribecommltd.com ), an Accra-based writing firm.