Tag Archives: Taking things into perspective
By Tedd Emelianov
I am a complainer, through and through, that’s just how I was made. When it comes to the outside world, I am never short of a criticism or suggestion as to how it can be improved. My problems always seem important to me, even when they are as minor as my supermarket discontinuing my favorite brand of yogurt. I often find that my complaints are minor, but it is still difficult to not allow them to upset me. I try to keep my issues in perspective, but sometimes it really is too difficult to see the forest for the trees. It was only recently that I took a long, hard look at how petty my issues really are.
The recent tragedy in Colorado forced me to consider the scale of my problems for the first time in a long while. I was too young to understand 9/11 as it happened, and news from across the globe of people dying in natural disasters or from military action always seemed so distant; the danger never seemed real. After the 20th however, my complaints of the ringing in my ears or my car falling apart seem so irrelevant.
Why should I care that magazines are giving poor dieting tips, or that movies have too many romance subplots? How are the problems of a well off suburban white male of any consequence when compared to the untimely deaths of thousands that happen daily? There is a cliché in our society, that things can always be worse; the idea that our problems are irrelevant when compared to those of starving children in Africa or anyone in a worse situation. I wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments, and think that the ability to take our lives into perspective is a necessity. But there are limits to everything, and perspective is no exception.
I would not use perspective as a tool to discount the minor criticisms of everyday life. Wrong is wrong, no matter the scale, and any mistake made should have consequences and resolutions. The idea that our own complaints are invalid simply because there are others in the world that are worse off is a logical fallacy, and anyone who makes this claim has not considered the issue thoroughly.
Perspective, like many things, should be a personal matter. It should be used to qualify the issues we decide to deal with, and to allow us to accept the smaller of life’s problems. I wrote this piece because everything else I wanted to write seemed unimportant. But the more I thought about my situation, the more I realized that the reason I get upset at the world is because certain things are important to me, even if they are trivial to most others. Everyone is in this situation, and we should not stop criticizing, not for a second. The reason that change happens is because people are unsatisfied with the world around them. And even the idea of perspective, must itself be taken into perspective.