Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Mine is Bigger...
Yesterday I went to see the 'rents. At one point my mom accused me of 'whining' about my dissatisfaction with my job at the high school. Then this morning I was reading Loki's blog, and she's going through some very rough times with chemotherapy, and I began to feel guilty about expressing dismay over my own woes. Then, some hitherto unheard from part of my psyche put forth this very quiet question: is my pain any less significant to me just because someone else has it worse? And is 'worse' really an appropriate word to use? How many times have you been caught in a conversation with someone that, no matter the story you tell of some awful experience or injury you had, they've had one worse? Have you ever been that person? I remember a time, back at the Pope Theatre, when a bunch of us techies were on a break and were comparing scars. I had recently recovered from lopping the end of my thumb off. One of the guys was missing parts of his brain due to falling off of a ladder. One dude had nearly had his face scraped off in a motorcycle crash. Then we all looked at Tim, the Master Electrician, who rather sheepishly said, 'well, I had a really nasty hangnail once.' And, in a bizarro twist of irony, the guy who was totally whole and unmaimed was unspokenly dubbed the loser. Why must we compare our agonies? And why, when someone doesn't have any, or has 'lesser' ones, do we use that to fan the flames of our own pain? Rather than insinuate that Tim was less of a man for not having been damaged, we should have congratulated him for taking better care of himself than we did. But at the end of the day, Tim may not even have a bottle of Advil in his house, while I have pain killers that most doctors haven't heard of.
So yeah, I may have bitched and moaned a bit over the last school year, but would hiding it have mattered to anyone in Darfur? I think not. Perhaps if we spent less time worrying about who hurts most, and instead just supported each other when we do hurt, there would be a lot less guilt flying about, and more healing. And Loki, if there's anything I can do to help, you know you just have to call. :-)
And now I'm going to put a band-aid on the boo-boo I got last night.
Marius the Painless(sort of)