Today I had a big fight with my sister. We were both sulking, upset and angry. I told my father that I was really hurt and he said that it is not worth being hurt when there are people right now in Israel, Lebanon, Sudan, the Congo and elsewhere who have lost their homes, family members and futures in the blink of an eye. And that if you told those people that there were two girls in New Jersey who got to go to school every day, who had a comfortable house, an intact family and never had to worry about food or money or safety, they would think it was ridiculous how sad and hurt and angry we were being.
I understand my dad's point. He is saying firstly that we should be grateful for what we have and not bitter about the small things that are not going well. And secondly that we should think of our problems in perspective in terms of what the rest of humanity may suffer.
But can the above idea ever really act as consolation, or should it? It seems that you can't put emotions in perspective - does the fact that something worse exists somewhere else make a bad thing less bad?