I have noticed some strange happenings as of late, and I am not sure if the problem is a result of the pressure our society places upon us, or whether it has been around for a long time, but I have noticed it is difficult for people to achieve happiness in their lives without having to endure constant ridicule by their peers.

Why can’t people just be happy for one another?

Here are some examples: Ever notice that when there is a man who is in great physical shape, people say terrible things like, ‘that guy must be on steroids,’ or ‘he must be gay.’ And I have noticed that this problem is not gender biased either. When a woman takes good care of herself, people say awful things like, ‘she must starve herself.’

And this terrible behavior doesn’t just stop at physical appearance. When someone has a real nice life, lives in a beautiful house, and is financially well off, often times people will say, ‘they must have walked on a lot of people to get where they are,’ or ‘it was handed to them,’ or my personal favorite, ‘it must be nice.’

How about when a man has an attractive wife or girlfriend. People always assume the man must be rich. God forbid love finds a way and lets two hearts find one another.

How about when an attractive woman lands a high paying position. Well of course she slept her way to the top right? Is there simply no way an attractive young woman can work harder than the competition? I beg to differ, and I have witnessed the proof.

How can we be proud of our own achievements when the lack of self confidence in others dictates the way society embraces success? Good looks, wealth and happiness are not the byproducts of a handout. They never have been and they never will be. Hard work, perseverance and a good attitude are the tools necessary to achieve these great things.

So now that we have established that there is a problem, we move onto the dilemma. The person who wants to achieve greater things in life has to make a difficult choice. Should they try and achieve success, or should they let life pass them by so they can hang onto the much needed acceptance of their peers? To me the choice is obvious.

With all this in mind, I have reached a terrible conclusion on this subject. The more people who look down on me, and the more people who try to demean my sacrifices, the better I must be doing. Right?

So are hatred and envy going to be the new definitions of success? Should we invite people who pass us on the streets to knock us down a peg or two? Should we look forward to the hatred and negativity of others? Is this how we are going to rate the level of success in our lives? If so, then I am disappointed that it should come to this. It is sad day where we can expect jealousy and negativity as a result of our hard work.

And so the rungs within the social ladder spread out even wider, creating an even larger space between the prosperous and the poor. It is no wonder we don’t understand one another, when the prosperous are too frightened to turn back and lend a helping hand, and the poor are to proud to climb onto the next rung of the ladder.

About the Author

Daniel Craig Roche

Daniel Craig Roche is the author of several articles. poems, novels and short stories. Mainly a writer of horror fiction, he found a fan base in inspirational writing with his slice-of-life vignettes. If you enjoy what you find here, find more at necrologyshorts.com, Idea Gems Magazine, Tough Lit Magazine, or keep an eye out for one of his forethcoming novels.