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It’s a strange phenomenon that many people seem to think that the options we make whilst living in this society, are more than just plain choice. What we do now it seems, is more a lifestyle choice than the basic necessities of life.

Our neighbourhood, the schools our children attend, the food we eat and where we take our holidays are no longer based solely on available income, but more the way we choose to live our lives and therefore, appear to others.

I have long hoped that the class system would disappear as I got older, but it’s still there, now in a different way. Once, it was ‘obvious’ by where you lived, whether you came from a well-off family or not.

Now it’s different; many affluent people live in cities, cheek by jowl with neighbours who are on family or income support. Or one may live in the country in a large detached house, but next to a family who own no property and rent the land on which they farm. The edges are blurred, and maybe that’s a good thing.

We all want to do well in our lives, and competition is mostly healthy; though now with the use of social media we can let go of secrets and tell the whole world how well-off we are, how bright are our children, or how expensive that meal was at an exclusive restaurant …if we so wish!

It used to be called boasting, or showing off and I am still wary, as are many of my generation, when saying how I have excelled or made a good choice, though I worry less what people think about me now.

It’s all too easy to look down on people who are less fortunate; you may remember the Monty Python sketch …… well I know my place! This was an amusing observation of the class system, quite accurate at the time but hopefully not so relevant now.

Where are we now?

Wherever we are in our life, we will have faced rejection, intolerance and even bigotry. We of course, do not need to do the same to others.

Everyone, at some point in their lives, will see the dark side of life. The days when we are hungry; for sustenance or company. We will all experience being lonely, sad and grief stricken; that is life, and no amount of life-styling, or moving home will take away that pain.

It’s when we hit rock-bottom and the choices we make at that time, that will begin to make us the people we truly are, or are destined to become. I have been in that place and know that without those dark times, I would be less of a therapist, less of a person. It’s the understanding and knowledge of the dark side of life that helps me to empathise with others.

Each person (almost) is doing their best to survive in a changing world, so give them a break and end the constant comparisons between lifestyles and achievements, only applaud, support and smile.

Change is all we have, so embrace it, whatever your lifestyle.  If you are fortunate, be grateful and always be generous. If you not fortunate be grateful…there is still much to be thankful for.

Diane – if you need support, contact me.