My childhood best friend had a lovely weekend in Northern Italy just the other day, flying seaplanes on Lake Como and having lunch in Arturo and Enrica’s castle… I know this because he posted his exploits on Facebook. My typical weekend involves laundry, maybe a nap, and a trip to Trader Joe’s. So, yeah, I’ve got a bad case of Facebook Envy.
My childhood best friend doesn’t post many updates. He isn’t one of those posters constantly sharing pictures of his food or his cat or someecards about bacon. When he posts he goes for the jugular with stuff like: “Enjoyed Istanbul. Rode a camel. Heading off to Dubai…”
Studies show other people’s Facebook posts make us feel like our lives suck. That’s understandable; we humans have a tendency to compare ourselves with other people, after all. That’s why two, count ‘em two, of the Ten Commandments are devoted to coveting.
(In the Lutheran Ten Commandments, anyway. I found other versions with one combo-commandment to cover off on coveting.) (It’s kind of funny, don’t you think, that we could have different versions of something as pivotal as the Ten Commandments? Maybe the Lutheran version is the Director’s Cut.)
Anyway, one or two, it doesn’t matter, even God doesn’t want you obsessing over thy neighbor’s house or his wife or the lunch he had with Arturo.
My childhood best friend and I used to be thick as thieves. All through grade school we flew Frisbees together, rode bikes, and shot off model rockets. We went on adventures in space pretending we were astronauts and watched Raiders games on Sunday afternoons. Somewhere early in high school, I started hanging out with the theater kids and generally screwing around while he started working on his career. He learned how to fly airplanes at 14 or so— first gliders then single-engine planes while I settled for “C’s” and “B’s”. When he went off to aeronautical college and I bounced from one school to another, we sort of lost track of each other completely.
Of course, he’s highly Googleable. Flight instructor. FAA. He testifies in front of Senate subcommittees when they need an expert on flight safety. He helps world hunger organizations with their humanitarian airlifts in the Middle East.
Me? I sometimes give pocket change to street people. Sometimes, not often. But, hey: I don’t kill or steal or bear false witness… Still working on the coveting…
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