Oh, that’s terrible….but it could be worse. How often have you heard that, or even said it to someone when they’re talking to you about something going on in their life? Right now its in the single digits here in the land of Cheddar, but my buddie’s in Texas are dealing with some similar stuff. Go figure that despite what they’re going through being total trash for them, I struggle to not go “well at least you’re not dealing with it for the next 8 weeks”.
Why is it we do this? I would say its a personal problem, but I’ve heard it plenty with many others before. Is it because we’re trying to soften the blow someone’s dealing with in their life? Or is it that we think whoever is dealing with something needs to toughen up, cause things “aren’t that bad”? And yes, I’m asking this knowing full well that life (especially here in the USA) is about as good as it has ever been.
As good as it’s ever been, yes, but I suppose that’s not allowing for the reality that whatever someone may be going through could be their personal worst for whatever given situation. It reminds me a bit of school (despite how long ago that was). I could somehow manage to find time in just about every class when teachers allowed, to get the nights homework done for the next day, while others seemingly sat there staring off into space like a deer in the headlights. Sure, some of those were just slackers slacking, but others it was a legitimate struggle to sort through the task at hand. In their case, it was the absolute worst thing they could be dealing with at the time.
Maintaining perspective of someone’s situation is darn near impossible. We’ve each dealt with our own situations in life and as such have a bias that goes along with that. No matter how similar of situations we may have dealt with in our own lives, we can never perfectly empathize with another’s life. We can try all we want to be as sympathetic, but we’ll never fully know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. So a bit inline with some of my earlier postings, maybe before giving a response on something, reserve that thought. Maybe resist saying “well at least its not…….” or avoid dropping the “it could be worse” on someone. For all you know, bringing that on someone may actually make their situation worse.
Deep thoughts. – Andrew