I’ve been known to get pretty miserable about the state of affairs in my life. I moan about stuff, I guess we all have those moments.
When I was a kid and I didn’t want to finish my dinner, my mom would always refer to starving Ethiopians – we’d all seen the piteous pictures in National Geographic magazines. Somehow, it didn’t ever seem to help – what did she want me to do? Post my unfinished food to them?
That sounds a bit harsh, sure, but it’s all relative isn’t it?
I worked with a woman who had to take a week off work because her kitten died. I was completely gobsmacked at that. But, as I said, it’s all relative.
If you’re struggling daily to make enough money to put food on the table, that’s going to be your main focus. If you’ve got a pantry full of food and your house is paid off, you’re going to start worrying about wrinkles or fashion. Maslow’s hierarchy explains that well enough.
But sometimes it does help to put your life in context. Just climbing out of your particular bubble and understanding that life isn’t the same all over the world is a good start. To get over your pain and desperation about a bad day at work (at least you have a job) or a strained relationship (at least you have someone in your life who cares enough to fight with you), sometimes you need to take a journey somewhere else – in someone else’ life.
Not so you can feel superior or even do something for that person. But so you can contextualise, put things into perspective and understand that the world is way bigger than you are.
Here’s a link to a new blog that gets that – it exposes a community living in extremely difficult circumstances, and yet still manages to espouse a sense of balance and context – and even joy. http://shootingyouth.weebly.com/1/post/2012/10/a-day-in-bophelong-skye-forrester.html?