A Mysterious Observation about Happiness from Oscar Wilde.

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”  — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

This has always struck me as an eerie and mysterious observation; I’ve been surprised by its truth.

Taking a job, dating a person, accepting a position, a great bargain…how often do we pursue a certain course because we know that if we don’t take advantage of something, someone else will?

  • Mimi Gregor

    Oscar! When I clicked on your website and saw his picture, I squeed like a little fangirl! One of my favorite wags, and the source for all of my favorite quotes.

  • Lindsey

    ooh I love that one!

  • Mimi Gregor

    This is one quote that baffles me. It never occurs to me to take something because if I don’t someone else will. I don’t think in terms like that — I only think about whether I want the thing or not. If I think about others at all, I hope that someone else will take it, since it is of no use to me.

  • Julie Coffin

    This must make it a “great truth” because the opposite is also quite true. I often find it much easier to pass on items if I know someone will enjoy using them. For example, I love seeing my neighbors kids wear my daughter’s outgrown clothes and ride her old bike. “The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false.
    The opposite of a great truth is also true.” —Niels Bohr

  • Jeanne

    Wilde was ahead of his time. These days, it’s called FOMO Fear of Missing Out.