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#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from shangrillama.blogspot.com             This is not a llama?

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”   ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

How often do we hear that people have uprooted their lives, their family, given up their jobs, homes, all they ever knew for the possibility that “the grass is greener on the other side”? Between 1915 and 1921 a total of 12 million people of Irish or British nationality left those shores to travel to America, Canada or Australia, the lands of ”milk and honey” for a better lifestyle. The government of the day thought they were relieving themselves of their paupers, a burden on society however, a large number were not the poor labourers but farmers looking to acquire land in the “New World”, because “the grass is greener on the other side”. Quite a mistake!

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from http://www.pbase.com      The English Countryside

This was by no means the first migration of people. Records of early man show the chalk images of man following herds of animals to secure food. Our history is founded on finding somewhere better because “the grass is greener on the other side”, in order to make life easier, more comfortable, a guarantee of survival better than that which already existed. That man has survived until now has, in some ways been through chance rather than through planning. Reliance on animal migration was no guarantee of survival, as many of the great herds were slowly decimated by other predators and to changes in climate due to natural cyclical climate change.

From the days of the Industrial revolution when farmers left seeking better conditions because “the grass is always greener on the other side” there has never been any certainty this was correct. Throughout Canada and America they had to contend with the native Indians. The pre-eminent predator of his time, they were only defeated through the illnesses brought by the emigrants, the addiction to alcohol, also courtesy of the white man, and the vast number of settlers supplanting them. For the Indians it was a war of attrition which they lost and for the settlers a war of survival which they won.

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from http://www.123rf.com                The American Countryside

In Australia the native Aborigines were nomadic and stayed away from the settlers where possible. They were content to live in the way their ancestors had and remained away from the new settlers – by and large. There is no denying atrocities were committed on both sides at different times, such was the way of man. Take by force or eliminate the competition or both.  It has happened throughout the world and is still happening.

I am not debating the rights or wrongs which have occurred during history. From what I have read, neither man nor beast has changed their methods of supplanting others of their kind to ensure their survival.  Why have they done this? Do  they have work on a conscious or subconscious belief that “the grass is always greener on the other side”.

The real question; is “the grass is always greener on the other side” correct?  The answer, Yes and No! It must be since there are always people moving back from whence they came. Some return again and others do not. Humanity is a sea moving back and forth and when they find their place they stop moving.

“The grass is always greener on the other side.” I wonder. If I had been asked that as we left England I would have shouted a resounding YES! When I hopped off the train in Brisbane I would have shrieked an appalled NO! At different times throughout my life I would have said Yes or No, all depending on how my life was travelling. There were times when I longed for…… snow at Christmas when it is so hot and I am a disappearing puddle on a chair. At Thredbo, Canberra and Sydney I was enchanted and entertained. Tasmania was a green delight for the senses – and I had snow!

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

images from bluepowder.com.au              Thredbo

I am told that the outback has a grandeur and majesty unlike anything else on earth. In pictures it looks immense and otherworldly, yet in the ‘flesh’ I fear I would be unbearable as the heat and the flies destroy my equilibrium. Never having seen it I couldn’t say if “the grass is always greener on the other side” of the Black Stump. I’m not sure if I have the urge to find out.

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from http://www.genkin.org –           Australian Outback  –    Sturt National Park

I feel there will always be people who believe “the grass is always greener on the other side” and uproot themselves and their families because we need the constant ebb and flow of humanity. It ensures our gene pool is constantly mixed (seriously!), and it helps us to grow, as individuals, as a family, as a people, but more importantly as spiritual beings.

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from http://www.acrossoceania.com              The Kimberley Region   West Australia

We must constantly ‘taste’ all this world of ours has to offer so that we understand all its many varied aspects. We need our artists and novelists, scientists and unique individuals so that everyone is able to share in the majesty and splendour we are surrounded by.

So, No, I do not believe “the grass is always greener on the other side,” but I believe we need ‘the other side’ so that we can tell when we have found the place we want to call home.

#The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

image from properties.mitula.com.au –             Farmland at Byron

 “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”   Audrey Hepburn

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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