Life Tip #73

Everything is relative.

When I was younger, my friends and I went through a phase when we would say about anything and everything, “It’s all relative.” We thought we were being so clever and funny.

Yet in reality, there is complete truth in that statement. Everything is relative. Things we think are awesome and wonderful are awesome and wonderful only in relation to other things that are less awesome and wonderful. Things that we think are horrible and devastating, well, same thing. As it pertains to our best-laid plans going awry, we tend to think that when bad things happen to us, these things are the worst things ever. We lament as to how we are ever going to survive. We think that our job is the worst job on planet earth, that our income is too low, that our home or apartment is substandard, that our car is too clunky, that our wardrobe is outdated, and on and on.

To all of it I would say, “It’s all relative.” We can easily flip the script of our woes to a script of blessings, by simply changing who we compare ourselves to. If we constantly compare ourselves to the celebrities we see on TV, or to our neighbors who have more, then of course we are going to feel inadequate by comparison. If we compare our social life to the so-called social lives of our social media friends, then of course our life will seem miserable and pathetic in comparison. It’s all relative.

However, if you instead volunteer at your local food pantry or soup kitchen, guess what. All of a sudden you feel like a king or queen, and you quickly feel ashamed and embarrassed for ever thinking otherwise. For an even more eye-opening experience, visit an underdeveloped country and take note of the poverty there. More importantly, notice that the people you consider extremely poor seem perfectly happy and at peace with their lot in life.

So, the next time you start wallowing in misery about your own lot in life, focus on all that you are blessed with, rather than viewing your situation as a curse. Our misery is usually nothing more than what I like to call rich people problems.

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