I was told that my problems don’t matter…
That in the grand scheme of things they are insignificant.
That even in a narrower view where humans happen to become the centre of the universe, there are other problems that would put mine to shame.
That my problems have now come under the unfortunate heading of First-World problems, regardless of the fact that I am not a citizen of the aforementioned realm.
That; in comparison to a child in Africa without access to clean water, or a teen in Syria who has lost his parents, or a homeless person world over shivering in winter, or a million other problems; mine are tamer, lamer or even whines of a privileged bourgeoisie.
That, I am burdened by a lighter load, while more tender shoulders bear the sky. The pain I feel is minuscule to those faced by meeker souls. I have family, friends, and people who care; while there are orphans and lost spirits that float about untethered by love.
Yes. I am inclined to agree, rather I would agree wholeheartedly. There is a multitude of pains, a variety of problems, which are vicious and brutal. Problems which would make getting up in the morning difficult, prospects which would prevent the possibility of sleep.
Do we all measure the problems in relative terms? Will my pain hurt me less if I look towards the more unfortunate? How would it feel to realise that my problems or pains were of lesser value than another?
I stopped assigning value. A problem is to be overcome, and pain is to be borne. Whether in a freak act of empathy, the problems of another and mine were switched, would it hurt the person in more pain, less now? We are all children of our circumstances, our outlook shaped by what we face everyday, we cope in ways that would astound another.
My problems matter, but only to me.
In my grand view they’re apocalyptic.
In my narrower view of the world, they hold unearthly significance.
The African child will drink when it rains, the Syrian teen will rally for peace and be loved again, the homeless will find a roof. Will I find my pain resolved if they do? While I recognise the pain, I would be daft to compare them. Each of the breathing billion have their own issues, their own solutions and their own helplessness.
Individuals are indivisible, so are their problems. As the universe will implode into oblivion, so will our problems. In that, the cry of a child or those of a heartbroken man would echo similarly. So forgive me if I empathise but also feel my own pain.