Some days, it feels unnatural to write only three things you’re grateful for in your journal, so you write down way more. Other days, you get in a fight with your friend, your partner’s being insensitive, you eat chips before lunch then you fall asleep and don’t have a proper lunch or dinner, you lose the finished draft of an article (only one you had), listening to the politicians you’re supposed to vote for on Sunday makes you gag, two different people from the same company wrote to say your article was rejected, you see this too-cute-to-be-a-stray* dog alone in the street meaning he’s lost or was thrown out- all on the same day.
I’ll go ahead and say what you’re thinking**: children in Africa are dying.
However, as you might (or not) have noticed, there’s no transitional word there. No but.*** That’s the secret.
If you mention others sufferance to someone sharing their struggles with you, it’s not to compare or diminish their pain. It’s another problem on its own. If you say but men get raped too as an answer to women getting raped, you’re part of the problem.
If you say but white people get killed too, you’re making it about you; white people get killed and men get raped, but that should be your entire sentence. Women get raped and POC are killed way more disproportionately, so your point isn’t valid.
I consider myself a pretty grateful person. I think I’m way happier and kinder to the people in my life -and strangers!– after I started paying attention to all the little (and huge) blessings in my life. Like everyone though, I have my moments. They’re way less frequent, but if you try to diminish my pain (or happiness, for that matter) because someone out there has it worse/better, you kinda suck.
Likewise, if a queer person is sharing their experience as a queer person with you, you should listen to what they’re saying. NOT the moment to say straight people get beat up too. They do, but not because they’re straight, catch my drift?!
Something that took me a long time to learn is that pain is not a competition.
People across the world are suffering and people across the world are having the time of their life. They say “comparison is the thief of joy”, I agree. Be happy, or sad- yu don’t own an explanation to anyone for how you’re feeling. Especially don’t be hard on yourself saying other people could have it worse. Also, to anyone who only brings up certain issues when being confronted about other ones? Check yo self ‘fore you wreck yo self. You already know what I stand for.
P.S. No, I didn’t forget to include my sources, I simply believe some research is better done yourself.
P.S.2 Kinda touched on all the subjects I wanted to, and if you’re thinking, what does one have to do with the other, consider that the people trying to invalidate your experiences are doing so for a reason. Hint hint: status quo.
*Stray dogs break my heart, but breeders will probably die in the ~wild~
**Psych majors really DO read minds y’all.
***I thought butt almost immediately and winked ~out loud~, you know, like, to myself, in public. No shame in my game. jk, it was unconscious.