I saw this sign at a store and I had a very strong reaction to it. (That happens a lot, actually.) What kind of a premise is this? The idea is that if I’m not content with something or someone in my life, the problem must be outside myself and I am encouraged to begin the search for happiness by pursuing a possession or a relationship that will fulfill me in a way that my current circumstances do not.
What would this mean for marriages?
If we hit a snag or if I’m unhappy for any reason, I’m to assume that the problem is yours and I should find a new spouse. I must deserve better.
What would this mean for our closets?
This purse/furniture/house/car used to make me feel good, but it doesn’t feel that way anymore. It must be time for an upgrade. Let’s go shopping. I deserve better.
What about jobs?
I’ve worked here for a while, but it’s just not doing it for me anymore, so this job/company must be beneath me. I’m done here. I deserve better.
The fundamental flaws in this principle are A) that I deserve only things / people in my life that live up to my superior standards and B) that my lack of contentment is not my fault. This philosophy is self-centered and filled with inherent arrogance. Who do I think I am when I consistently believe that I am living below my merit? That others exist merely to elevate my self-esteem and fill my needs? It’s not a world I want to live in.
What if we adopted the philosophy that we better ourselves by serving others? What if humility became a trendy virtue? It seems to me that the moment I start to wonder if I deserve better is the moment I’d better check myself and get over myself.