Real problems

“I’m too poor to pay the rent and feed my kids.”

“I have nowhere to sleep tonight.”

“I’ve been repeatedly abused sexually.”

“My mother and father died in a car crash when I was seven.”

“I have no access to clean drinking water.”

“My daughter has cancer.”

Contrast the above with the following: “I don’t like my job.” “I’m overweight and can only get to the gym twice a week.” “I have to get up at five o’clock tomorrow.” “I don’t have anything to wear to the party.”

Poverty. Homelessness. Abuse. Being an orphan. Lacking basic amenities. Terminal illness. These are real fucking problems. Most of the things we worry about? Most of the things we fret over? They’re not even in the same league.

It was Marcus Aurelius who said that “The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.” Ninety-nine percent of our problems are “small things”. Petty, inconsequential concerns that use up energy and time which could be better spent on doing what matters.

Just something to keep in mind the next time you find yourself cursing your own good fortune.