The Weekend Worthy Revisits are posts that I wrote a few years back that I think deserve another look. Here is one originally posted October 19, 2011 entitled “Think You Have Problems?”
Very seldom do I ever complain. It is something that sometimes drives my wife crazy because she knows I am not feeling well, but I’ll never say if I am feeling like crap. Very rarely. I just try to work through it. I hate to complain and don’t like to hear people complain.
All through my illnesses, the pain of operations, the fear, the frustration, I never complained. Not because I thought I was “strong”, but because I always believed that you are never given more that you can handle, and there is always someone out there a lot worse off than you. And what is the point of complaining? All that energy you put into complaining can be put to healing.
Today I was speaking with a young lady that I barely know, and I asked how was her weekend, and that’s something I never do, because it opens you up to hear people’s complaints. I always ask “what’s good in your life” or “what good did you do this weekend.” It forces the person to think positively about their life and not complain, because given the chance, people will complain, and an open ended question such as “how are you?”, does just that.
To my dismay she proceeded to tell me about her bladder infection. I was dismayed because it was a little too much information from someone that I barely know, and it was a complaint. She spoke of her affliction as if it was the worst thing that happened in her life, and I instantly thought to my self “You think you have problems? A bladder infection? Really?!”. And I compared my list of conditions to her bladder infection, and then, although I thought it was still too much info, I realized that I was just being a selfish, uncompassionate idiot.
To me, there is no way that my conditions could be compared to a mere bladder infection. But that was me. That was my issue, not hers. At that moment in her life, a bladder infection was something that made her upset enough to want to share her pain with someone else, someone she barely knew. So I put aside my personal selfishness and realized that what was needed was just a second of compassion. That’s what the world is missing these days. We all think our problems are worse than the next person, and we are always ready to compare our problems to others, to see who has the bigger problem. He with the bigger problem wins, and gets more sympathy.
I realized that just for that moment, her problem to her was bigger than anything else on the planet. So I silently offered her a genuine and heartfelt bit of compassion and wished her to be rid of her trouble. I told her I hope she feels better soon, and I mentally wished her peace and healing and health. And just that second of genuine compassion out, I felt peace. The energy I put into just a second of compassion gave so much, compared to the energy that would have been sucked out by judgment. (Although I still felt that discussing a bladder infection was too much information)
Maybe if we all take a moment to feel just a bit of compassion and not be quick to judge and compare our predicaments to each other, we will all probably heal a lot faster.