When we are in a different environment, with different people, we get a chance to see a different perspective on life. More often than not, this glimpse into a different world makes us realise just how small a box our own lives evolve within. It is a common practice to then state “my problems are so small compared to..” or “my problems are small because my life is in this small box”.

I want to highlight the danger of these statements.

If a person was walking, and a monster was following him, about to attack him, would it be a wise thing to say “your problems are small compared to..” or “you should be grateful because..”? No, it wouldn’t. Because that would mean letting down your guard and being attacked.

Just because other people are suffering does not mean that your suffering is worth less. If there is a problem, it needs to be dealt with. I am tired of hearing people understate their problems and then watch as they consume and destroy them. Self-respect and self-love do not mean ignoring everything “negative” and focusing on “positive”. It means realistically looking at one’s life and making appropriate decisions based on what is actually happening. You cannot improve your life if you do not recognise what it is. You cannot claim to love yourself if you allow yourself to suffer, and actually justify that suffering. 

Of course it is possible to exaggerate problems, and it is always good to be grateful, but telling someone that their problems are small is underestimating the danger that them problems can cause in the future. If something feels wrong, it is wrong. Rocks appear in roads, monsters cross our paths, cliffs eventually end. Ignoring these things is extremely dangerous, not humble. Don’t fall off, don’t let the monster eat you. Don’t be ashamed to have a problem.