Not literally, unless you think it will help. I mean, when you’re thinking of your own problems, or watching tv (specifically, advertisements)…step outside your own world for a moment, and think about someone else. I try to do this from time to time, and it can be alarming.
Example. The other day I was watching Almost Human (Fox better not cancel it!) online and up popped a commercial for the Kindle, with the selling point being that it can be read in sunlight. Two skinny white chicks sitting next to the pool in a tropical locale, one struggling to read her iPad, the other happily reading her Kindle. The first thing that popped into my mind is “first world problem”. It can be sooo easy to forget how privileged we have it. By “we” I mean members of the middle class and up. This can mean Americans, Britons….anyone who’s biggest concern on any given day may be that they can’t read their $500+ tablet in sunlight. We can become so insulated, it’s easy to forget there are those out there without electricity, let alone without a tablet to read on. Maybe they can’t read. Watch enough advertising and it can be easy to forget that there are non-whites in the world.
One of the things I find helpful, but that I do far too infrequently, is to try to pull my head out of my ass long enough to empathize with those who have less than I do. Not just materially less, but physically, mentally, even spiritually less. I’m not trying to sound like an egotistical ass, but I probably do. For example, I was abused as a child, struggle with depression/bipolar, loathe myself physically, and am not living the life I want to live. Yadda yadda yadda. I was given a harsh reminder of how good I have it the other day when I learned that Josh’s sister has breast cancer. At the age of 36, she had to have a mastectomy. Her mother abandoned her and her brothers when she was a baby, her father was killed in a worksite accident not long after, so her unbalanced, drug addict mother returned and took in her
inheritance and her brothers, one of whom would commit suicide when she was 18. She’s struggled her entire life with drugs and abusive men, and now has to fight cancer. But, no worries, since she has little education and no money, the prospects for her beating this are great!
Her life makes my life look like a Hallmark film, and I need to be more grateful.
But I’m sure if I buy her a get well gift, like a Kindle she can read as she lounges by the pool, all will be well.