“I have suffered a lot” a friend said to me. I replied him saying, “You’ve not suffered more than I have.” This is the argument and conversation we have with people when telling them our stories. We always think that “we” are the only person that had suffered or encountered many problems which is not true.
Yes, it’s true that our stories vary from others but none of us can ever deny that others have not encountered challenges and obstacles in life, too. The mistake we frequently make is to think that we’ve suffered more than others. We don’t stop to consider that other people have suffered as much as we even to some degree or in some cases even more than we have.
One person’s story might be trivial to you because you think you’ve suffered more. In reality, however, perhaps you could never have endured their story and vice versa.
Let me be clear here that, stories are part of our lives either good or bad and to what degree or status of the suffering we should never consider other people’s stories as trivial no matter what. We should rather acknowledge the fact that they truly suffered just like us and we should offer each other word of empathy and courage to keep going. Our stories are not a suffering contest or race, they’re meant to teach us and others a lesson.
A rich man’s child who doesn’t see his parents often will consider that he has suffered and a poor man’s child who doesn’t see food on his table often will also consider that he has suffered. Both in some way have suffered, but the degree is different. The poor man’s child will say to the rich man’s child that you’ve not suffered because the rich kid eats often while the rich man’s child will say to the poor man’s child that you’ve not suffered because the poor kid sees his parents often.
These are trivial sufferings both of them would argue because of the degree of one suffering is bigger than another. The truth is, both of them have suffered and they should both console each other.
Life has a funny way of presenting its challenges to us. I once read long ago that if each person could write down their troubles and put them into a hat and then everyone would pick someone else’s problems out of the hat; then most of us would wish we had our original problem that we had previously! So the next time you think your problems are worse than everyone else’s perhaps you need to think again and be grateful for your life.
-MOAB © 2014