Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My favorite "McBealism"

In the mid-'90s, one of my favorite TV shows was Ally McBeal. I can't put a finger on just one thing I loved about the show because I loved all of it. The sometimes silly and poignant McBealisms. The dancing baby. The wild scenarios playing out in Ally's over-active imagination. Her colleagues. Her cases. All of it.

But, I'll always remember one particular episode, where Ally responds to a colleague questioning the importance of Ally's problems:

“You know what makes my problems bigger then everyone else's? They're mine.”

I immediately connected with Ally's response, both from my own personal problems and at how I view others' strife. I think all of us are somewhat self-centered when it comes to our problems, regardless of how compassionate or sensitive we are to others' needs. And, when it comes down to it, if you don't look out for yourself, who will? So, I certainly understand how easy it is at times to be swept away by your problems, possibly overlooking those around you who are in need of a helping hand or sympathetic ear.

I'm not without fault. I've sometimes felt my problems were THE most important thing in the universe. But, to anyone else who isn't directly impacted by my problems, they don't see the same sense of urgency I see. And, the same may be true when I'm looking at someone else and their problems. If it doesn't directly affect me, I might not feel as passionate as the problem's owner does.

To each person - in their world - their problems may be larger than life. They may be all-consuming. And, those problems may be the only things those people can truly call their own in a world where we actually own far less than we believe we do. And, our problems are something that no one tries to steal from us, because everyone has plenty of their own to draw from and work at fixing.

But, that doesn't mean that another person's problems are trivial or unimportant. Everyone's importance scale is relative to the trials they've faced in their life. To someone who's face very little hardship, a less-than-perfect grade in school could mean the world is about to end. But that same grade to someone who's faced great loss and adversity would be nothing more than a minor bump in the road. The loss of a beloved pet is a great loss to some, while others may view it as "just" an animal that's died. It's all relative to each of us and our personal circumstances.

So, while our problems are important inside our world, they aren't always important to others in their worlds. And, conversely, we on the outside should be sensitive to others and their problems, even if we don't understand why these problems are so big to others.

It's not always for us to understand, just commiserate and support and not judge. And, sometimes that non-judgmental approach helps us to solve our own big problems.



  • At February 23, 2009 4:41 PM, Blogger jenj230 said…

    This makes me think of something I read recently where someone was accused of self-aggrandizing. That by communicating their issues and seeking comfort among friends that they were somehow saying that their problems were larger than anyone else's. But it's not true at all is it? Your problems, to you, are all that matter at the time and it is indeed all relative. Ry has been a little under the weather and someone very kindly told me they were praying for him and for me. My first thought was 'oh how kind' followed by 'really? over this?' That may be a bad thought but after you go through something that undermines the very fabric of reality, little things like a passing illness are sorta par for the course. In your mind you're thinking, horrificly thinking, 'well, at least he didn't die'. God that sounds awful, but I think you know where I'm coming from.

  • At March 05, 2009 1:28 PM, Blogger Blessed Mama said…

    well said..I often feel like I'm the only one with problems, when I know everyone else has them too, they just aren't mine. If that makes any sense whatsoever!


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