Last week, a friend of mine organized this event called “Candles of Hope,” where we basically lights up candles in the middle of my university entrance and sit around them in a circle. It was in commemoration of all the tragedies that have occurred in the world.
Of course, one will immediately assume Boston. And although I’m not saying it wasn’t a dreadful thing that happened there, people fail to realize that bombs and tragedies aren’t exactly uncommon in many parts of the world. I come from a country where hearing about bombings only a few minutes away from your house is almost a norm. People die as a result every single day. It’s not that I know anyone personally, but my relatives there, like my grandparents have lost friends not once, not twice but numerous times in these awful occurrences. I have heard them talk about these victims, these people who were kind and generous, being obliterated for no good reason whatsoever. And their families… the amount of times I’ve heard of children, much younger than me, losing their fathers… I can’t even begin to imagine a life without mine.
It really starts putting your life into perspective, hearing these stories. At times, I start to realize how absolutely trivial my problems sound in comparison to others. There are so many times I feel like this. I sometimes catch myself ranting on about something in front of someone, only to realize they have been through a lot worse than me, and that puts me to shame, and especially when that person offers me comfort and support. Because I feel like, when put into perspective, their problems are like mountains, whereas mine is like a small bush growing on that mountain.
But I remember, a long time ago, and I can’t exactly remember who or when, someone told me something that has stuck. “No problem is too small, because they’re your problems. Only you can understand them fully, and no one can experience what you feel, because you’re you!” Apart from this, all I can remember is this cheered me up a little. Because it reminds me that not only no one can perceive the world exactly the way I do, but also that I can never perceive the world in exactly the way someone else does. So really, I can’t help if I have a problem that seems little to someone else, because to me, it’s big. And likewise; if a friend comes to me with a problem that at first glance seems extremely minor, I try to realize that to them, this problem is the only thing that is occupying them right now, that it’s taking them over, and they need some sort of resolution or closure.
I really feel that this keeps me going, understanding a little bit that everybody has one thing or another going on, whether we can help it or not, and sometimes it’s okay to forget about perspective. Just realize that problems are problems at the end of the day.