15 May 2010

"Threshold? What Threshold?"

Odds are you've been in this situation yourself. A friend, colleague or relative is crying about something horrible that happened to him. And into this scenario walks in another fellow, delivering the cliched yet necessary line that goes something like this. "What're you crying about? This is nothing. There are so many worse things that could happen to you..."

Like most of you reading this, I've heard this myself. I've been told so by my parents, friends and teachers. In fact, you might have even read posts of mine declaring that the pain we suffer is little compared to that of people all around us.

Yet, recently, I had....you could say, an epiphany, though it wasnt all that dramatic. More like an apple-falling-on-the-head moment. And that's how I got this post.

Now in keeping with the tradition of all my posts on Laptop Diary, I'm going to give you an example. Why? Because I'm good at it. And also because I dont know any other way of explaining it.

Imagine you're with a friend who is going through a tough time - say, unemployed and heavily in debt. It goes without saying that he'll be more than a little worried. Suppose you happen to meet a little kid, not more than 4 or 5 years old. Try squeezing his hand as hard as you can. Unless he was raised in the jungle, the kid'll start crying.

Now, in dramatic fashion, point towards your depressed pal, and tell the kid. "What're you crying about? This is nothing. There are so many worse things that could happen to you..."

You get the point? No sane minded chap would say that to a kid. And the reason? Because for the kid, the pain felt is more than he can possibly bear. It crosses his threshold of pain. It's the same with an 8-year old who's left stranded in a busy supermarket for a few minutes. Or a young adult whose lost a college admission.

Its bothered me when people compare the pain felt by each other. It doesn't seem fair. Different people have different thresholds to endure pain. Then what's the point of comparison?

I don't mind when people narrate experiences of hardship and endurance, as long as its to motivate and encourage someone. But belittling and mocking others doesn't seem right.

At least, that's what I think. Most of you'll just say, "Threshold? What threshold? What're you crying about? This is nothing. There are so many worse things that could happen to you..."

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  1. Aiwa..look who's back! Nice! But so short!
    more to come I hope..

  2. I agree with Rejin..its pretty short..but it's nice..and I dont believe anyone tells that to mock someone..its mainly for motivation..!

  3. amazing example put forth by you...like the comments above.. its short..but riveting and a change from the usual fiction work you have been posting..gives yuo food for thought this one...good work.!!

  4. I agree with you. We all have our own thresholds of pain and suffering beyond which we cannot bear. It's not fair when someone comes up to us and tells us how much worse things could get. It doesn't really motivate us in any way.

    I don't mean to give a cliched comment, but this post has explained a good topic wonderfully in few words.

    And I'm glad LaptopDiary is back. Welcome back Musthafa! Glad you're posting here once again. I've missed LD.

  5. Very true you know!!
    i think most of us out there need to understand this!! there is just so much we can take! and it varies from induvidual to induvidual. it certainly wont take the pain away--comparing yourself with someone. And going "hahah, look, im in a better position than this jerk" doesnt exactly contribute to making this world a better place. We should have more mature methods to deal with our sufferings.
    very thoughtful post.
    and yaayyy!! the laptop dairy is BACKKK! Welcome back! we've really missed you! :) :)
    hope the dairy never finds a last page!
    cheers, and its always been such a pleasure to read your posts!

  6. "I guess its time u update "About me"..its hard 2 beileve ur still 16 :P

  7. well written.........dont wrry we wont let u write ur last pagfe..it wont cum dont wrry

  8. good.. keep up the good work bro..:)

  9. u r having a big holiday n still writing so less??c'mon write more n biggger 1's.....n this one kinda was very very small.........

  10. Thoughtful post!
    But it's human nature to compare, as it makes them feel greater/superior.

  11. Reminded me of my frnds post.. u myt find it interesting...