Today morning, I noticed a status update saying “I hate my life.” I was alarmed and without batting an eyelid, immediately sent a message asking, “What happened?” I followed it by offering, “If you want to talk about it, please call me.”
It set me thinking, once again, about how little one knows about the difficulties other people face.
I say once again because just yesterday, my maid had shared her sorrowful experience with a husband who has escaped to their native village after running up huge debts here. Not only does she have to struggle to put food in the mouths of three children and run the household single-handedly, but she also has to answer the uncouth chap who comes demanding the debt be repaid. She was crying yesterday because, when she refused to go to see her husband in the village, he quarreled with her on the phone, casting aspersions on her character.
Today evening, another person was telling me about a friend whose daughter met with an accident while driving on the highway and now, 6 months later, is still in a coma, and there’s nothing the doctors can promise or predict about the outcome.
When we hear or read about such sad experiences, we feel bad for some time. Then, caught up in the rush of our own lives, we forget all about it, and get on with our routines, made up of few moments of joy and many more hours of complaining and whining about our own troubles – real and imaginary, small and big.
Of course, there may not be much we can do to help others in trouble, beyond empathizing with them. It’s not required to keep brooding over the troubles of others either. But I have found that really paying attention to the sadness that others share often has lessons for me to learn. At the very least, I can analyze my own circumstances, and see that I’m so much in a better situation as compared to them. It teaches me to be more grateful for all that I’m blessed with.
The person to whom I sent the message today morning replied after some time with a terse, “Sure.” After that – silence. I don’t want to ask again because it may be seen as an intrusion. I can only hope the storm has passed and that good sense will soon prevail.