Whose Story Will Be the Worst?
We all have a story that waits to be heard. No matter how uplifting or how dire the tale may seem, we all have known pain and we’ve all known joy. We like to mostly brag about the joyful things in life and to show off, a little, all the good we have. It’s good to say my happiness in life is good, and maybe even a little special.
On the other hand, how odd and strange is it that we sometimes take great pains to take measure of the pain of others too? To judge whose suffering is worse or not, or even worthy? Are we really special because of the ways we have been subjected to pain?
Regardless of our circumstances, richer or poorer, surrounded by many or none, we encounter the same range of emotions from various ranges of circumstances. It is only the circumstances that cause us to judge what pain level is necessary, appropriate or even merited, as though some of us may have got away with something.
Some of us have had been abandoned as children, some only temporarily, but even so both groups will share those first moments of realization that they had been left behind on purpose.
Some of us have been told our bodies hold disease with early fatal outcomes. Some will die, and some will have some amazing intervention that continues life, but what real difference was there in their feelings when they were first told that news?
Some of us have lost loved ones from sudden tragedies, lingering illnesses, and even family disputes. Is the pain from these losses so significantly different? Do we miss one more?
Whether we burn our hand on a match or a hot coffee, or lose our only key to the car, or if our laptop gets smashed, or we lose our last dollar, deeply or nor not, there isn’t any shortage of situations where life will shoot shards of feeling through us until we scramble for ways to cope and/or beg for escape.
The moments of aches and heartbreak may not rise from the exact same stories, but really there is only so much bandwidth for feelings. How we feel them varies in degrees according to our natures and of course the circumstances, but short of incapacitation or an early death, we will all experience the range in some way in our lifetimes.
No one really, should feel like they are the only ones to feel what they have, not for the sake of comfort in a ‘misery loves company’ kind of way, but hopefully at a minimum, to share compassion that comforts.
Ideally, we would grow to focus on our commonalities and heal together. Our shared stories are guides to solutions. It is the stories of how and how well we overcame pain that really says who we are.
Everybody’s story deserves to be heard; only some of us get that benefit, especially if we speak or write in public forums. When we tell our stories, we think they are only our own, but I have to wonder, when we do tell them, how many of our seven billion people are we really speaking for?