“Deprivation quickly drives us into a process of appreciation, which is not to say that we have to be deprived in order to appreciate things, but rather that we should learn a lesson from what we naturally do when we lack something, and apply it to conditions where we don’t.”
-Alain de Botton, in How Proust Can Change Your Life
This can be true for so many arenas of life. I have been thinking about this concept a lot lately. For the past 2 weeks (and for the next 2 weeks or more) i have been / will be deprived of what i would label “normal life”. But it is, as de Botton (and countless others have) articulated, an effective way for me to appreciate the normality that i once had and have now lost. Even though sanity is fleeting right now, I must continue to strive to see positives in the negatives that keep popping up in life. Right now, more than ever, i am reminded that life is not about me. I am here to help others, to use my talents, to point to God. I am not deserving of anything, though on a daily/hourly basis i, without fail, get the feeling that i am.
I like the last part of the quote, the part that pushes for consideration of the concept even when we are not in the thick of it. It would be very easy to just say, “ya never know what you got till it’s gone”… but instead, de Botton reminds us of the way we always forget what we learn. Appreciation of simple things can tend to come to a halt whenever we are content with life.
It would seem dishonest of me not to reveal that the featured quote by de Botton was actually extracted from his chapter entitled “How To Be Happy In Love”. And to this, i have no comment.