No matter how good you have it, someone has it better.
Conversely, no matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse.
Recently I wrote a sort of complainy post (who? ME?!), and a commenter sent me a link to someone’s horrible blog and told me that it should put my life into “perspective.”
I could fill every page of a hundred notebooks with gratitude. I could tell you a thousand details of how great my life is and how lucky I am. But who wants to read THAT smug bitch’s blog? Not me.
By the logic of the commenter, no one has the right to complain EVER. Let me elucidate.
Imagine that you are the mother and father who write a blog about their poor baby’s death from a brain tumor. I could zip on over to the comment section of that blog and comment: “At least you HAD a baby. Some people are infertile.” I could also remind them that their baby was with them for eight months while some people’s children are stillborn. Or remind them that their child perished in a few short weeks while others spend years or lifetimes watching their children suffer.
But that would be cruel and unnecessary.
I could type up the url to Heather Armstrong’s Dooce blog, where she has been going on about her various injuries acquired from training for a marathon in too short a time. When she writes about her broken foot, I could sign up for her community in order to leave some gem in the discussion forum like: “Some people don’t even HAVE feet. You should count your blessings.”
I could tell The Bloggess that some people don’t HAVE a few hundred dollars to spend on a giant metal chicken to leave on their own doorstep as a “fuck you” to their husbands. Some people don’t even HAVE husbands. Some people live in countries who have never heard of Beyonce.
Okay, that last one can’t possibly be true.
So people don’t get to complain about their relationships because others are lonely or abused. We don’t get to bitch about our jobs because so many are out of work. And we don’t get to explore the trials of mothering typical children because some kids have autism.
Perspective is just a way of looking at things. There is no correct perspective. Because we have an unlimited number of perspectives, there are interesting works of art in this world and not just one photograph that we all hang on our walls.
But some people don’t even HAVE walls.