The Journey or the Destination?

journeyMaybe you have to be old to be familiar with the Mary Tyler Moore Show. But for my ego’s sake let’s pretend you don’t, and that everyone is familiar with Mary and Rhoda.

Mary had it all together and Rhoda was sort of a screw up. Mary got the princes. Rhoda got the losers. Funny enough though, people loved Rhoda and they eventually gave her a show of her own. The set up for Rhoda’s new show was that she finally met Mr. Right, got married, and moved to New York.

Here was Rhoda, married to a great guy and happy – but people hated it. Viewers missed seeing Rhoda struggle – so much so that they had to write her husband and her happiness right out of the show. Rhoda went back in search of a decent guy and her ratings went up. Poor Rhoda was doomed to bad dates and job insecurity in order to entertain us.

Is the struggle always best part? And isn’t seeing people fall in love more interesting than seeing people who are already in love? Who wants to see a married couple cooing and mooning over each other? That would not only be boring, it would be nauseating. There is a reason fairy tales end when the good life begins. Nobody wants to see Cinderella laying around the castle eating grapes and getting her nails done. We sympathize with a hopeful housemaid but have no interest in a contented princess.

Could it all boil down to one simple truth about ourselves? Maybe having something to strive for is what really makes us happy. And maybe the anticipation of reaching our goals is just as important as actually achieving them. It was certainly the case for Rhoda.

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