In the last week, it has come to my attention (through these endless surveys and "studies" - I mean, is there anything left to be studied out there?) that:
1. Utah ranks no. 1 in the nation for people who are depressed...
2. SLC is the vainest city in the nation...
So, depression (in the sense of not being happy with life verses chemical depression) signals either a) a population that is trying to always be better (which is a good thing verses not trying at all) or b) a population that is working hard to achieve goals that might be set too high and so there is a built-in / self-imposed failure rate for not ever being "good enough" or "measuring up" to always higher standards. The Church often inspires such thoughts, which in general, are good so that we always keep trying to improve - but these thoughts can focus our attentions solely on "perfecting ourselves" and falling short of perfection leads to unhappiness or unworthiness... such thoughts were never the Savior's! As a people, we fail to allow the Savior in our lives to bring the peace that the Gospel is supposed to bring as we do what we can. Is it any wonder why we are depressed instead of joyful for having the everlasting Gospel plan in our lives?
The vanity thing is interesting... When I was in NYC last month with my wife, we went into the Sephora store and were overwhelmed by perfumes and beauty products and gay-boys promoting the latest items. My wife commented: "there are a lot of people out there hungry to be loved". Now for NYC or L.A. to be concerned about beauty and vanity is one thing, but SLC? I guess it was determined by the amount of money spent on beauty products and cosmetic surgery, and the number per capita of plastic surgeons. Does this ranking of SLC have anything to do with a people wanting to "look good" for the sake of caring about their appearances (in a positive sense - good health, good hygiene etc.) or is this people "hungry for love"? And does that have anything to do with the unhappiness / depression ranking noted above?
On that vein, I finally cut my hair! For anyone who follows (the two or three of you out there), I really have a thing for long hair. I've concluded that it is a symbol of rebellion and since I don't "fit in" and never have (i.e. I'm not like other guys - especially those in my High Priest Quorum and neighborhood) I've always used my hair as a personal symbol of rebellion, purposefully setting myself apart from the rest of the gang. I don't remember the last time I got a haircut. This time, my hair was long enough to pull into a pony tail. But, alas, following the desires of my true love (read "wife" here) I cut my hair as an early Christmas present for her... (wasn't that kind and thoughtful of me???).
It's now missionary-short and spikey and ugly and I hate it... but she likes it. She says I look younger. I don't believe her. It shows that I'm turning gray... I hate that, too. When it's longer it hides that touch of gray that gives me the "air of distinction" (her words). In my view, I'm just getting older. It's another example of where I don't know who I am, that I try to be what others want me to be, and that I continue to live behind a facade... *sigh*
So do you think my vanity has anything to do with my depression?