It’s not once that I’ve come across people comparing their sufferings. It’s once multiplied by many times.
Oh yeah? That’s nothing. You should see them, living in such situations and smiling.
Stop whining! I have it much worse.
Don’t be such a cry baby when I’ve got bigger stuff on my shoulders. Do you see me complaining about it?
And you can just tweak those above lines here and there, and you’ll most probably end up with a dialogue you must have either said or heard in your life. Which brings me to this:
Are we really in a position to compare our pains with one another? Is pain even comparable?
I’m not talking about the I broke my nail pain or my dad won’t buy me the new bike pain. I’m talking about pain – the generic difficulties, the stress, and the emotional rollercoaster and breakdowns we go through.
I’m talking about the pain which ignites and burns in the heart, which makes you feel like you don’t feel. Or simply the one that makes you feel. Because feeling pain hurts, and I don’t know how to compare such intense emotions.
No suffering is less than the other. You might face a block of extra obstacle, or an entire extra wall of it. And it also might not hurt the same, it might not break you down the same. But is your pain really that majestic than the other person who, too, is experiencing the same emotion, just a different shade of it?
To say that one’s discomfort is less than the other is undermining their agony. It’s over-looking the torment and torture they are bearing, and if this is done, you know what: they will end up on the level of suffering you are comparing them to.
PAIN IS PAIN, and no matter how repetitive this word becomes in this blog, I will say it again and again and then again, because it cannot just vanish and be replaced with a better-sounding word because it can never be better sounding.
When someone kills their dream to pursue something not meant for them – it’s a misery only they can feel.
When someone loses a part of their body – it’s a misery only they can feel.
When someone has their heart-broken – it’s a misery only they can feel.
When someone is forced to live on the streets – it’s a misery only they can feel.
When someone feels like their existence is of no worth – it’s a misery only they can feel.
When someone gets depressed for a reason they don’t know and they can’t explain – it’s a misery only they can feel.
And above all, when anything happens to anybody, it’s not solely about a misery only they can feel, but it’s also because at that particular moment, they are experiencing a hurricane that they are unable to handle, that they are unable to hold onto something.
Like immune system is to diseases, emotional stability is to pain: not everyone has the same strength to deal with it. So why do we expect that one’s pain is either greater or less than the other? Who gave us the right to rate the sufferings of individuals on a scale and ask them to stop complaining and whining about it?
For some, complaining is a stress booster, and I kid you not. Saying to someone that what they are feeling is probably nothing and that people have it worse will only make them lose it more to the insanity.
People might have worse, but you do not know what it is like inside people’s heads. You do not know how bad it is inside or how bad it can turn inside. You do not know if someone’s merely hanging by the edge of a rope or if someone has a well grip on it. You do not know if that’s the only thing that has happened to him in his lifetime, or if there’s more under the surface.
And the truth is, we just do not know stuff! We are naive humans and we don’t know things, but we pretend that we do and that’s an entirely different rant to do, but I’ll say it again, more because I repeat things when I need to emphasize on something; and it is that:
YES, WE DON’T ALWAYS KNOW STUFF. YES, WE CANNOT ALWAYS KNOW STUFF.
YES, WE ASSUME. A LOT.
And we need to know this. We have grown and evolved to compare numbers, and we have grown and evolved to compare tastes and preferences and the freaking distance between the earth and the next galaxy and the next, but we just have not grown and evolved enough to compare emotions. Not yet.
So until we reach that stage of technology where we can successfully compare pains and the mental state of a being, let us just keep asking ourselves one question – Is my pain bigger than his? Is his pain bigger than mine?