I've been noticing a trend lately that concerns me. It's like a new competition where no one wins, and the prize isn't even something anyone wants. The cycle goes a little something like this:
Person A shares a struggle of theirs.
Person B points out that Person A's struggle is actually a blessing and that Person B's struggle is so much strugglier than Person A's.
Person A becomes offended.
Person B becomes offended.
Both walk away angry and offended.
Cycle repeats itself with Persons C and D.
And again with Persons E and F.
And so forth.
Here's a more specific example (disclaimer: this is neither a pregnancy announcement nor an example taken from an actual, real life occurrence as far as I know. It's also not directed at any one person but rather society in general, myself included.)
Person A- We just found out we're expecting again. We were NOT planning this one.
Person B- Yeah, well, I've struggled with infertility for 8 years. Be happy! Babies are blessings!
Little does B know that A nearly died in childbirth with her previous baby, and she's afraid of that happening again only this time leaving her husband to parent their children alone. Or maybe their finances just took a hit, and they're facing losing their home; the addition of hospital bills might put them over the top, and she fears having to raise this baby plus their other children from a place of homelessness. Or perhaps it's another of a hundred thousand possibilities. The point is, everyone has their own version of hard, and discounting that by pointing out that your situation is harder, so the person sharing their struggles with you should suck it up and count their blessings is neither kind nor helpful.
Life isn't a competition to see who has the biggest struggle, and I guarantee that many hands make the burden light. Instead of trying to top another's challenges with your own, bigger challenge, how about we join our sisters and brothers and neighbors and even strangers and see how we can make their burden a little easier to bear.