It’s funny that we spend so much time being jealous of people whose lives we do not even begin to understand. People look at the famous and the powerful and wish they could have what they have. As if those bounties did not come at very high costs!
Ernest Renan said, “sovereign…is the least free of men.” Look at a telling moment in Obama’s presidency – he showed up for work one day in a brown suit…and everyone freaked out. One cannot imagine the same reaction to Professor Barack Obama wearing that same suit to teach his law students. Look even at Justin Trudeau today, where one can grant that he has a number of nauseating actions in Parliament. For most of his life, his actions were all pretty well understood by the public and by the press. But now that he is Prime Minister of Canada? Not so much. His actions are made to seem deadly serious and there is not even room for a typo without much scrutiny. This was a freedom Trudeau lost when he took office.
Thankfully, few of us will find ourselves in any scrutinized problems. Do you really want to be a billionaire who is constantly on guard against being kidnapped (or your children being kidnapped)? Do you want to be a celebrity who has to deal with photographers following you everywhere you go? Do you want to be the athlete who has so spend countless, mind-numbing hours in the pool every single day, who cannot let up after countless gold medals and millions of dollars?
In truth, no you wouldn’t. We are lucky to be as free as we are. To be normal, “regular” people. We must cherish our rights to our opinions and our privacies and our safe spaces to screw up and be human. And if we can, stop chasing the “good fortune” that will take all that away.
Be happy today.
By Brian Nadon