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Stop complianing about lockdown. Thre are others a lot worse off

(101 Posts)
Dinahmo Sun 24-Jan-21 13:43:05

Flicking through the photos of the week on the Observer web site I came across a photo of two children in a displaced persons camp in Syria. Their shelter is made of blankets strung up with rocks piled along the ground, presumably to keep the blankets anchored. There has been heavy rain and the two are leaning out from their makeshift home to feel the rain and smiling. The ground is waterlogged.

We, or some of us, are whinging about lockdown. I know that many are suffering from confined spaces, no jobs and a shortage of money. I know that it's difficult. But for most of us, our current situation does not in anyway compare to the plight of these children and refugees the world over.

I'm not suggesting that any one of you gives money, or complains to the govt or signs petitions but just to think, next time you feel sorry for yourself, about the poor people the world over who are in a far worse situation that you have ever, or hopefully will ever, experience.

Dinahmo Sun 24-Jan-21 13:44:54

Sorry about the typo in the heading

janeainsworth Sun 24-Jan-21 13:53:13

Actually Dinahmo I think it’s possible to feel compassion for people in other countries whose lives are intolerably difficult due to war or famine, and at the same time acknowledge one’s own low mood, depression or unhappiness caused by present circumstances.

I’m all for being grateful and counting one’s blessings, and I frequently do, but I don’t think it’s healthy to bottle up perfectly valid emotions.
I also don’t think it’s very kind to say to other people who are having a hard time that they should buck their ideas up because other people have much worse lives than they do.

Dinahmo Sun 24-Jan-21 14:19:23

I'm not suggesting, or implying, that people buck their ideas up or that they should bottle up their emotions. I'm merely asking that people think about the people living intolerable lives in other countries and stop complaining that they can't have a party, or a large wedding, or attend a church service, or travel to see their grandchildren, or go back to uni or whatever, all of which are a reason to be cross.

I am suggesting that they should be thankful that they live in a country where they have a health service that is mainly free, there is religious freedom, there is a fair degree of tolerance and that they have a roof over their heads. They could be living in far worse circumstances.

Kim19 Sun 24-Jan-21 14:33:10

Totally with Jane on this. We can always find someone who is worse than us no matter how difficult our personal lot may be. That should not exempt us from acknowledging our own and dealing with them accordingly. There are no medals for halos - even hidden ones. Incidentally, this chat was given to me by a very friendly phsychiatric nurse.

lemongrove Sun 24-Jan-21 14:40:52

I know what you mean Dinahmo in fact I frequently feel grateful for a comfortable warm peaceful house to live in.
So many sad cases out there in all age groups and countries who live ‘on the edge.’

ginny Sun 24-Jan-21 14:43:34

I’m actually fed up with hearing people say that there are others worse off. I think we are all aware of that and feel for them.
However we all have to deal with our own problems. Should we also not feel our own happiness because others are not as happy or even happier ?

Smileless2012 Sun 24-Jan-21 14:44:37

I seem to remember this was covered previously on GN and I agree with janeainsworth and Kim. What may seem a minor or even insignificant concern to you, may be for the person experiencing it the last straw.

Going to Church for example, may be the only social interaction that someone living alone and with no family can have so for them, not being able to go is a major upset.

Due to estrangement, we haven't seen our eldest GC for more than 8 years and never seen his brother, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel for those GP's who due to the restrictions, are unable to see the GC they love.

Just because someone is struggling with a particular issue in their own lives and needs/wants to talk about it, doesn't mean they are not aware that there are others who are far worse off than they are, and thankful for the life they do have.

Madgran77 Sun 24-Jan-21 14:55:59

I think it’s possible to feel compassion for people in other countries whose lives are intolerably difficult due to war or famine, and at the same time acknowledge one’s own low mood, depression or unhappiness caused by present circumstances

I agree. The fact that others are so much worse off does not invalidate how some are struggling on better circumstances. Many are saying that unlike in normal circumstances "counting ones blessings" is not working for them. Complaining (or maybe just basically telling someone how they are feeling and being heard) may be the thing that helps them keeping going ...whilst still knowing that others are in worse situations.. The 2 things dont equate!

Parsley3 Sun 24-Jan-21 15:02:19

Your OP reads like you are giving us a telling off for not being grateful. I am sure you didn’t mean it like that and the picture of those poor children really upset you.
Believe me, there are many of us who do count out blessings every day and have sincere empathy for those less fortunate.

lemongrove Sun 24-Jan-21 15:05:36

We have never had to face anything like this pandemic in our lives before, and it has to be acknowledged that it’s taking it’s toll on the nation’s mental health, particularly so for those who live alone, and those who already struggle with mental health, including children.

AGAA4 Sun 24-Jan-21 15:14:53

Most people will feel extremely sorry for those in such awful circumstances but I don't believe comparing yourself with someone worse off can make you feel better about yourself nor should it.

Callistemon Sun 24-Jan-21 15:58:46

Dinahmo I get updates most days from someone I know in Turkey who runs a small charity providing warm clothes, shoes, blankets, school books etc for displaced Syrian refugees.
Some of the photos via the White Helmets are harrowing.
This horror is still going on and was on our news nightly until other events and the pandemic happened. Just because Covid has taken over doesn't mean it has gone away but it's largely ignored, as are other conflicts..
I do think about them often but we are impotent to stop it.

I'm not saying more because I was called a virtue signaller when I tried to bring attention to this a couple of times previously.
They do still need our help.

Callistemon Sun 24-Jan-21 16:03:10

I do agree, though, that if someone is struggling with lockdown, illness or family problems, it's not easy to think 'ah well, I'm feeling desperate, but there's someone worse off than me somewhere in the world'.
It's the kind of thing we may say when we're feeling just a little grumpy and fed up but some people are really suffering with the present situation and thinking that doesn't help their situation.

I can see both sides.

Tweedle24 Sun 24-Jan-21 16:10:01

Whenever anyone I know says they should not be feeling bad because other people are worse off, I say what a counsellor once said to me, “ This is your pain and it needs to be acknowledged. Because someone else appears to be worse off, it does not lessen your pain.”

Madgran77 Sun 24-Jan-21 17:41:13

Callistemon Yes they do. And saying so is not virtue signalling so please dont be put off

Callistemon Sun 24-Jan-21 17:43:34

It did, though, Madgran and it was rather a shock.
I don't think that poster is on GN any more.

Doodledog Sun 24-Jan-21 17:59:58

If I am stung by a bee the pain won't lessen if I think of someone else being bitten by a snake.

I can't bear the 'someone is worse off' approach. I was brought up that way, and never felt able to own my own feelings, as I had to compare them to starving children or orphans at Christmas. If I fell and hurt my leg I was reminded that some children had no legs, or had them but couldn't use them, and so on. It makes me cross just thinking about it.

We do have so-called 'first world problems', but (for now at least) we live in the first world, so what would we expect?

Kandinsky Sun 24-Jan-21 18:05:40

Don’t ever get a job with the Samaritans.

Hetty58 Sun 24-Jan-21 18:10:51

Our reaction to the present situation depends a lot on what else we've faced in life.

I do often struggle to understand how very upset some friends and relatives are but, to them, it's the worst thing they've ever had to deal with (lucky them).

Our awareness of world events doesn't really influence our reactions to our own problems though. We feel sorry for people, do what we can, donate to ease our conscience, then largely forget about it.

Galaxy Sun 24-Jan-21 18:13:22

And also it's of absolutely no help to the people in Syria. If I worry about working during a pandemic but at the same time to do something constructive with regards to the situation in Syria, then that is infinitely better than saying I wont worry about my problems because there are people worse off than me whilst doing bugger all for those people. The people in Syria or homeless or whatever , their lives are not improved by us not worrying about our own problems.

Madgran77 Sun 24-Jan-21 18:14:43

I don't think that poster is on GN any more

Probably fortunate!!

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 24-Jan-21 18:15:12

I was actually in a situation some years ago, my youngest daughter was in hospital having a major op for Cancer, my goddaughter was also in the same hospital because she had a brain aneurism.
Thinking who was the worse off didn’t help any of us.

Your feelings are important and shouldn’t be made to feel less so because of others. However, we aren’t dodging bombs as my Dad was, so I’d say I was certainly better of than they were during the War.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 24-Jan-21 18:17:33

Message to self, don’t post on GN after drinking 2 lovely glasses of wine

Ignore my rant.

Chewbacca Sun 24-Jan-21 18:18:32

Sorry Dinahmo I think you're wrong. Feeling sad, depressed, lonely, isolated and worried for our futures doesn't preclude feeling empathy, sympathy, sorrow and sadness for those in worse conditions than here; the 2 are not mutually exclusive you know. In fact, it could be argued that knowing there is so much inequality and cruelty in the world can heighten the feelings of sadness and despair we feel during lockdown because we have more time to dwell on it. So, if it's ok with you, I'll continue to feel sadness and despair for all of us who are suffering in one way or another.