Sunday Roast: Why did you buy your television?

Sunday Roast: Why did you buy your television?

Apr 15, 2012 |  by  |  Art
About the author
Mark Visbeek is a designer, musician, superstar, and loves illeism. Always looking to create beautiful things, I'm often distracted by the amazing stuff happening around me. My most important weapons are limitless amounts of love and a faux-French accent.

It’s Sunday and you’re hungover, angry at the world, at bartenders and most of all: yourself. No worries, we feel the same. That’s why we’ve invented Sunday Roast. A bi-weekly conversational ‘column’. A written one. Online. Every other Sunday, Mark and Sabrina vent about the horrible burdens and ungodly mishaps of their 21st century life. Usually reserved only for bars, we bring our problems right into your home. Sharing is sexy, and a problem shared is a problem halved.. You are cordially invited to our pity party.

Previous Sunday Roast here

Dear Sabrina,

Purposely sabotaging your own happiness to maintain an ultimate goal in your life is one thing, but there’s an awful lot of people who impair their chance of being happy without being aware of it. They end up crying in a corner of their average-sized house just outside the city center, only to wipe their tears when they need to go to work again the next day.

Two problems here: feeling better than others, and embracing social standards as hard truths. Both can be frowned upon, but neither of them is a real problem in itself. However, throw them together, add water, shake well, and you end up with a cloudy, thick, sticky emulsion called you’re fucked. The more you shake it the more it expands. It spills over the brim, accumulates at your feet, and like quicksand it pulls you in further and further the more you move.

I once read results of a study revealing that around 80% of students in each class believe their performance is above average when compared to the rest of the class. The same is true for society as a whole. Most people feel they work a little bit harder than other people, and thus feel entitled to a little more success than other people. Not a whole lot more, just a little bit. Because after all, you should get what you deserve, right?

I work harder than you, so my TV should be bigger than yours.

This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the other twist of mind: the idea that our success is measured by anyone other than ourselves. The idea that success depends on having the same things ‘average’ people have but just a little more, a little bigger, a little better. And by submitting to this idea, you throw yourself into a never-ending battle of buying bigger houses, flatter TVs, shinier cars, fancier clothes. ‘I work harder than you, so my TV should be bigger than yours.’

Wrong thought. Let me explain the correct thought to you, Sabrina. Clear your mind, and ask yourself right now: why did I buy my television? What were you planning on doing with it? Did you really need it not to miss all these extremely interesting shows that are crucial to the development of your career and your life as a whole? Do you just have it to watch the occasional film when you’re bored or can’t sleep? How much did it cost? Is the entertainment value high enough to make up for that price?

Wait, I’m getting carried away. Even those questions don’t matter, because there’s only one reason. You bought it because you didn’t have one. And you’re a person. And every person has one. So you have one. Because you’re a person. That’s what a person does. Why wouldn’t you have one? It’s weird not having one. You’re weird. I’m confused. Why is the TV off?

Success isn’t being better than average, it’s being different than average. Keep that in mind and you’ll be happy forever.



P.S.: Throw it out of your window right now. I’ll buy you a new one if you ever regret it.

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