In the last week, I was with a co-worker when we heard that one of our other co-workers went to Monacco.
Later that week, I was driving with a friend when we passed a really nice house in a local, upscale neighborhood.
In both cases, the person I was with responded by saying, “Must be nice.”
I got to thinking about that saying. It’s fairly common. Certainly not the first time I’ve heard people say it. But it’s nothing I’ve ever said or would be inclined to say.
Some would tell you it’s a way of acknowledging someone having or doing something good. But I think it comes from a darker place.
The saying comes from a place of resentment and jealousy. It’s actually kind of a mean thing to say.
“Must be nice,” implies that the person you’re referring to has something they don’t deserve or that there’s something elite about them. And it comes across to me as a very bitter thing to say.
It asks the question, “how come they get that, and I don’t?”
It also tells me the person saying it is not happy with their own life and feels they are owed (or at least missed out on) something they think they should have, too.
If you are content with your life, and truly appreciate all of the gifts you have (and we all have them, even if they’re sometimes hard to find), that thought should never occur to you. And if you understand that money not only can’t buy, but isn’t even required, to have happiness, then you won’t look at what other people have.
I’ve been fortunate in my life. While I’m in now way considered monetarily wealthy, I’ve just never really been interested in the lifestyles of others. I certainly care about people, but not at all about what they have or what they’re doing. (This is why celebrity culture is complete lost on me, and, I think, generally destructive for society.)
The saying saddens me because I think the appropriate reaction when you see someone doing something or having something you think you would like should be, “Good for them. I bet they’re really enjoying that. I hope they appreciate what they have.”
If not that, then “I think someday, I’m going to try and have that (or do that) myself. I wonder what it would take for me to get there.”
Resentment and jealousy are destructive, toxic paths that can not only take you down, but all the people around you. It’s currently fueling a lot of movements in this country (taxing the rich, the rising popularity of Socialism, and environmentalism, to name a few) that are all based on bitterness and the idea that things aren’t fair, and we need to get even.
Let’s try and change our national attitude. Let’s celebrate success and share methods of how to succeed with everyone we can.
“Must be nice,” isn’t very nice. Let’s change it to, “good for you.”