Good Point

I heard a comment today that stuck in my brain:

“We should all be grateful for our own problems.”

The gist of this is that many of us complain about things (our “problems”) that aren’t really big things, and if that’s all the problems we have, we are lucky, indeed.

It’s a good point. Most of the “problems” I think I have are minor compared to many others around me and in the world. People I know and care about have far worse health, financial and relationship problems than I do or ever have.

Most of my problems don’t threaten my health, wealth, relationship status or life in any real way. I don’t know the pain, struggle and suffering many others do.

My problems are those of a privileged status, by comparison.

I’m grateful for my problems. They could be far worse!

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9 Responses to Good Point

  1. Shawn says:

    Hear hear!
    In problems bring gratitude and through them a lesson can often be learned thus the gratitude is fulfilled and life becomes richer because of them.

  2. Urspo says:

    In all things find gratitude; in all things find meaning and lessons to learn.
    In all things they go better with a cocktail, no rubbish.

  3. jayinva says:

    I don’t disagree with that! I’ve never heard it put quite like this before.
    Interesting perspective.

    Peace ❤

  4. While that’s a healthy attitude, I’d like to offer a different perspective. In 1996, I had two roommates and had just cum out a few weeks prior. I had spent the night crying bc I realized things were over with the guy I fell for and who was the reason I knew and accepted and could finally see my life as a gay man. The next morning as I was leaving for work, Matt – a friend of my roommate’s who was staying with us while his wife was in the hospital undergoing a last ditch extreme procedure for her stage 4 cancer. Their 3 very young children were back in some remote midwestern town. Matt was drinking his coffee before heading to the hospital and when he saw me he wished me a good morning and a good day. My reply? Thanks. I’ll try but life sucks.

    As I walked down the stairs I realized what I had just said to this man and felt like crap and the world’s biggest asshole. I didn’t/couldn’t go back bc of it would make me late for work and bc I needed to think about it.

    I eventually understood that while life sucked for Matt and his family far worse then my life was sucking at the time, it wasn’t a competition. That these were my problems making me feel this way at this time and that was okay. They were not made better or worse by comparing them to other people’s. So yes, life sucks and when I saw Matt next, I was able to be their for him and he was able to be there for me. For both of us, life sucked. And then, there came a time when his life sucked a whole lot more before sucking a whole lot less. Mine got better first but there were far worse days ahead.

    Understanding that our problems could always be worse (I doubt you’d be happier about your job if it was taken away and you were unemployed for a year) and their will always be many people with far fewer or easier problems (at least from our view point) we can only work with what we have when we have it.

    Don’t devalue you problems simply because they’re not bad enough or because others ‘seem’ worse. Give them your attention and work through them. Just don’t let them prevent you from seeing and helping and being sympathetic to the problems and pain of others and being there for them.

    ps. I had this conversation with my sister-in-law last night and an extra cup of coffee this morning.

    • Sassybear says:


      I don’t disagree with you.

      There will always be people that attempt to make us feel bad about feeling bad about our own problems.

      And there are people who never seem to feel bad or get upset.

      And there will always be people who want or need everyone else to feel bad for them about the problems they have.

      There are people who are able to always see the bright side and never complain.

      There are people who always see the negative and always complain.

      I am neither extreme.

      I feel upset about things and have complaints, and I feel free to express that, but I do try to put things in perspective, if for no other reason than that I am trying to make myself feel better about my situation as opposed to wallowing in it and feeling worse.

      I don’t feel guilty about feeling bad and it does frustrate me when I express that I’m upset about something in my life, only to have a so-called “friend” tell me to stop complaining because things could be worse. (I HATE that.)

      I also resent that people assume that we should all be bothered (or not bothered) by the same things, to the same degree. I don’t expect everyone else to be as bothered about things as I am, but I do hope they will respect the fact that I am bothered. (Isn’t this idea the crux of sexual harassment and diversity training? Just because it doesn’t bother or offend you…..)

      But sometimes I do get hung up on “problems” in my life that aren’t really problems warrant the amount of time I agitate over them.

      The point I was trying to make with this post is not that we (or I) should never feel upset about anything, it’s that I want to try to remember that some of the things that I worry about or complain about, don’t really matter that much and don’t impact my life negatively in any meaningful way. I don’t apologize for grieving for the loss of my dog, the loss of a friendship, working at a job where I am harassed daily, or having on-going painful health issues, but when I think of THOSE things, maybe of the other things that vex me, day in and day out probably shouldn’t or don’t need to.

      As always, thanks for your thoughtful response and input. I value it.

  5. Gavin says:

    Wise words. It reminds me of another saying that has stuck with me, “Those I know who don’t have any problems, I don’t really know at all.”

  6. the cajun says:

    Oh, preach it, brother! Hugs!!!!

  7. Ron says:

    Hear! Hear! Well said.

  8. tru fax dat. how’s the new job?

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