“Pain is your personal link in the chain that connects us all to the privilege, pleasures, and possibilities of being human.” -T.K. Coleman, Tough-Minded Optimism
Believing that your life is harder than everyone else’s is a practice that is typically discouraged on the grounds that it is immature, obnoxious, or insensitive to the sufferings of others.
I’d like to provide you with a less guilt-driven reason for avoiding this practice. I would like to appeal to your self-interest.
Let’s forget about my ideas or anyone else’s ideas about what it means to be the “right” kind of person and let’s talk about how YOU can get what YOU want out of life.
The ethics of belief aside, if you are wedded to the idea that the world is filled with a bunch of people who have it easier than you, then you are doing yourself a disservice by making it more unlikely that you’ll ever successfully create what you want.
Concepts are capital and intelligence (not merely the academic kind) is the currency by which all desired states are procured.
No matter who you are, you’re not going anywhere without having access to the ideas and insights that will help you slice through the resistance you’ll have to face along the way.
Our greatest resource is our ability to learn from the failures, successes, and sufferings of others.
Too firm of a belief in the uniqueness of your difficulties makes it psychologically impossible to see another human being as having something significant to teach you.
The perception of your life as an unprecedented misfortune transforms your psychic energy into an impenetrable wall disallowing and disparaging, from every angle, the positive influence of those thought-rays cast by wise souls who have come before us.
If you believe your life is harder than everyone else’s, I don’t think you’re immature, obnoxious, or insensitive, but I do think you’re selling yourself short.
Ponder carefully the wise words of James Baldwin:
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” -James Baldwin