“It is easy to tell the toiler
How best he can carry his pack
But no one can rate a burden’s weight
Until it has been on his back”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
People ask me for advice from time to time. I find it surprising because I don’t see myself as any kind of example and what insights I have seem to come as much from luck as anything else. Yet as the years go on, I have people making comments about my wisdom. I figure as long as I find it funny and don’t start believing my own press I am probably ok… That’s one of the worst traps I can imagine, believing myself to have any kind of wisdom beyond that of any body willing to listen and say clearly what they are hearing.
While we’re on the subject of traps, another one that I am more likely to fall prey to is comparing the burdens that people have. One person may tell me that they were teased and bullied and I may know another who was beaten and sexually abused and abandoned by their parents yet can I truly say the latter had it worse than the former? Perhaps the one who was tortured found a safe and loving home to grow up in and started putting the pieces together in early adulthood. Perhaps the other felt so worthless from being bullied that after years of resenting and hating others gave into their learned loneliness and killed themselves. It seems our capacity to deal with what we bear in life is relative. But then comparing people’s pain is a sucker bet at the best of times. I’d rather share some cool techniques for helping them through it. Better yet, let’s compare back rubs or ways of making another person feel valued. Yeah, a much better use of time.
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Kali At the Fountain by G A Rosenberg