“Life is too short to be sad.” is something we have all been told when we were down. It is something even we say to others so that we can try to make them feel better. But I have a question. Does it really help us feel better? Does it make us feel the situation will improve? Honestly, it makes me feel worse. Because it implies that life is already too short, and even in my short time, I get sadness. That is how it is supposed to feel, but then that feeling should drive you to get out of the situation and make yourself happy; seize the day, so to say. But that does not happen for me. I don’t feel the urge to smile because life’s too short to be sad. I feel the urge to cry that my short time as a human being is not good, and is instead filled with sorrow.
This is something we may all have pondered over at some point in our lives. But have we ever acted on it? No. We are saddened, disgusted even, on how we could say things just to make the other person feel better, things we don’t believe in ourselves, things that don’t make sense to us, things that we would never use for ourselves. We have all had this thought, and yet we go back to doing it again. We say things we don’t really mean; things like “whatever happens, happens for the good” or “this is all happening for a reason.” and of course, the infamous “it will all be okay.” Do we stop to think maybe it won’t be okay; maybe this is how it is supposed to happen, maybe it’s not happening for a reason, maybe it’s just karma? Maybe. Do we even for a second believe what we say? We don’t. We pretend we mean it, and we hope that the other person feels better.
Having been the person on both the sides, the person who said something to someone she didn’t believe, all for the purpose of consoling, and the person being told the stuff to be consoled, I assure you, that is not how it works. You don’t feel better after it. Yeah, you may experience a temporary sense of hope, and that is not all bad, but we end up feeling the same way after a while, don’t we?
This is not to ask you to not console people and not be with them when they need you most, this is just to tell you that even though you mean well, and don’t want to see others in any pain, sugarcoating doesn’t help. The truth is what the truth is. Sometimes, situations are manageable, and things do get better, but that is not always the case, and making someone feel it will be better, or rather assuring them that it will be alright is wrong. Yes, it is wrong. Not because you are ‘speaking against your own beliefs’ or because ‘you are lying’, but because you’re not sure. Because you don’t know.
The thing is, we all want to feel better, even just for a second, and that is all we intend when we say things like these. We try to lighten the pressure on the people we love, but thinking about it, would it not be better to just be honest with them? To tell them it is okay to feel hurt, and to let your guard down; that it is possible things might not work out and that’s okay? Why do we have to rationalize everything, why does everything have to make sense, and why does everything have to work out? No one has a life that can be called perfect, everyone faces problems, so would it not be easier to just accept that things can go wrong? Maybe instead of telling people it will be okay, we tell them whatever happens, we’ll be there for them, by their side, supporting them throughout. We tell them things always go wrong, but they have us; that we will be right there with them.
I don’t think having hope is wrong, and I certainly don’t have any enmity against it, I would just rather people hold my hand and tell me the truth, than say something they don’t feel like saying and hate themselves for it.