Stop the Self-Pity

at 12:35 AM

I shut my laptop for the day and went over my evening to-do list. Work was never-ending, but chores at home needed attention. There is laundry to do but no detergent, grocery shopping but no time. And, yikes!, I'm already late for daughter's pick up. I weaved through the killer traffic cursing everything in the way. I was miserable. Why me? Why isn't life giving me an easy break?

To drown my misery, I turned on the radio news. And then, it hit me: What am I complaining about? I imagined myself at the heart of recent headlines: the Syrian massacres, war and turmoil throughout the Middle East, African hunger, random shooting in Oakland. I imagined being there. Imagined being caught in a crossfire between the government and the rebels. Imagined praying to be alive to see the next morning. Imagined crying out for help over my secret blog/Twitter/You Tube videos and frantically hoping for help. Imagined having to choose between my children while feeding the last ounce of bread left. Imagined losing everything and above all, losing  hope. It struck me: that is real-life struggle, a struggle between life and death.

For all my problems, at least I have some control. And suddenly, I was thankful. I was thankful for a safe environment, for three square meals and a job. While the economy has been pretty topsy-turvy, my house is upside-down, my job unpredictable, at least it isn't a life/death situation.

We all tend to get stuck in self-absorption or the infinite loop of issues and resolutions. But we should stop to remember there are people who have it the worst. So lets start this movement -- to stop the self pity.  Let's be grateful for the shoes we don't walk in.

With a Perspective, I am Amrutha Badrinarayan.

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Amrutha Badrinarayan lives and works in San Jose.

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