Comparing vs Understanding Our Problems

It has now been over 6 years since I was paralysed in a car accident. Many have stated how far I’ve come since then, how “together” I am and how inspirational it all makes me. I don’t know. Maybe I do inspire some people somehow; maybe I have overcome some obstacles that others have not, or can not; but I still struggle to see what makes all this so “exceptional”. Last time I checked every human to date has overcome an obstacle of some sort: whether it be literally climbing a mountain or taking ones first breath of air at birth. Agreed, some of my obstacles are uncommon but it doesn’t make them any more significant than yours. I’ve never faced poverty, I’ve never not had a loving family and I will never know the many struggles of being a woman in a world unfairly run by men. I tend to hear a lot from others about how they shouldn’t complain about their problems because “people like me” have it much worse and still get along fine. At this point my B.S. radar begins to spike and I politely break down to them the stupidity of such ideology.

  1.  Who says my life is “much worse” in any way?
  2.  Why can’t your problems be worse than mine. We all perceive life differently and what is crappy for you might be ideal for me.
  3.  And most importantly: Even if one person’s problems are better or worse than another’s, why on earth does it matter.

Since when did comparing two people’s difficulties become a way to solve either one’s issues. We’re much better off focusing on the problem itself rather than finding others who “have it worse” to make us feel better. The problem still remains… unsolved. And we have all been guilty of this kind of thinking at one time or another. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism for problems we don’t yet know how to deal with. We stay in denial of having to figure it out by pretending it isn’t that big a deal because others have it worse. Or maybe it’s a way to empathise with others who we perceive as going through some hardship. Either way, I know simply comparing our problems with those of others doesnt solve said problems. It may very well change our perspective and help us tackle things from a better angle. But ultimately, we still have to look inward for the root of the problem and the strength to react accordingly. If we focus on the severity of our own problems relative to others, we ignore the severity of the problems effects on ourselves.

We deserve much better than that.

Title photo courtesy of mimiandeunice.com
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