A Matter of Perspective


I have a cousin I’ll call Bug. Bug’s life was one dramafest after another. Mom had been blessed with two good kids, a mentally ill husband and not enough money at the end of the month. Bug was given five kids and a wife that worked in concert to make his life challenging.

Some of Bug’s kids had jail problems, some, maybe the same ones, had drug problems. Mom suspected Bug’s wife had keep-her-pants-on problems. Mom’s suspicions were supported by the fact that of the five kids, four of them were named after men who had lived with Bug and his wife and didn’t look anything like him.

Mom suffered from depression and given that she was married to a nut, didn’t have enough money and was the sole breadwinner making barely over minimum wage, no one could blame her. When things looked really dark, Mom called Bug.

Bug’s life was always worse. At one point, Bug’s son was in jail, a young daughter was pregnant, his wife had left him, and he was thousands of dollars in the hole. When she left she hadn’t paid the bills in months and had cleaned out their accounts before splitting. The house was in foreclosure as a result and she left him with most of the kids. I am sure talking with Mom about his problems made him feel better. It made her feel better, too.

Her perspective changed while she was talking about Bug’s life. Her life still sucked, but maybe it didn’t suck that bad.

The next time you feel like your life sucks, talk to a homeless, disabled or unemployed person and get a different perspective. Your life isn’t that bad either.