I think we all listen to our friends, relatives, and colleagues complain about their predicament, and then silently think, “Well what do they expect? Their predicament perfectly reflects their character.” If they are a lazy spendthrift, then they will go through life thinking that adverse circumstances are always denying them the money they need. If they are envious, then their colleagues will be unfairly promoted ahead of them. Etc, etc.
But when we think about ourselves, well then things are very different. If only we could get out from under burden X, our life would be so much easier. At least that’s the way I look at things, and I am pretty sure that others share this same sort of bias. Indeed I recall reading about some psychological study that showed this bias is fairly common. While reading the Portuguese writer Pessoa, I recently came across this quotation:
Whenever I’ve tried to free my life from a set of the circumstances that continuously oppress it, I’ve been instantly surrounded by other circumstances of the same order, as if the inscrutable web of creation were irrevocably at odds with me.
%$@#& that inscrutable web of creation.