Updated: Nov 26, 2020
It is easy to get carried away. It is easy to get upset when things aren't going your way. Because honestly, when I put it into perspective, as a Caucasian female from a developed country, everything is relatively easy.
I won't discount the trials that people go through and the ones that I have been through. Many people would agree that I have had some traumatic experiences. In a way, I am thankful for them because they have allowed me to grow. However, it is not about living in your pain or suffering or even comparing. But perhaps sometimes, before we get carried away in how we think we feel, we should put things into perspective.
Put things into perspective in as many different ways possible. There are ways that will make you feel differently than others, but it is merely this process that will lead you to some deeper realizations.
Here is how I reached my latest point of humility.
I have been traveling for 25 hours. I have been in the same outfit for 5 days... I traveled for 15 hours four days ago, and my luggage was lost. So now, in my own self-pity, I cry.... My original flight was delayed 5 hours which caused me to miss my connecting flight and arrive in a foreign city at midnight. I had to wait for customer service on the phone for an hour and a half to arrange accommodation and another flight. It allowed me for 3 hours of rest at a hotel that they didn't pay for because they made a booking mistake. I decided to wash my clothes in the sink that night, and when I woke up, it was still soaked. So I arrive at the airport at 4 AM in wet clothes. When I arrive in Madrid, I am completely lost in the most massive airport I have ever been in (though it was beautiful). I arrive to check-in for my next flight just an hour before departure only to find out that it has been delayed for 7 hours.
All of this to travel between two places which offer a flight that takes an hour and a half on normal days.
I cried and was thoroughly upset, and then somewhere lurking in my thoughts, I imagined if I was a refugee (specifically thinking of refugees that travel by boat through the Mediterranean Sea).
I wondered how many hours they had been traveling? How many hours they had been in the same clothes? When was the last time they slept in a bed? When was the last time they ate? If their loved ones were okay? If they were healthy? They didn't come from a beautiful, safe place like I was leaving, and they weren't going to a beautiful safe place where they are welcome, like I am going. They also aren't exactly choosing to endure this kind of travel like I had the freedom to choose.
Even wearing the same clothes, for me that is a choice... I could go get some new clothes, but because I do not want to support brands that I don't know about, I choose to wear the same thing. I have had a place to sleep every night. I am healthy, and I know my family and friends are safe. It is also important to realize that it is my choice to be where I am and how great my freedom really is.
There is a level of suffering that most of us can't even relate to. In many cases, people die in the rescue boat. I've never had to endure that kind of fear or experience. It isn't something that I brought up earlier because it isn't something that I could ever relate to through my traveling. It is tragic in a way that I am sure I do not understand or could relate to.
I know some people who don't like to travel simply because of the possibility of being in a situation that is uncomfortable, and ironically, these are a lot of the same people who don't want to welcome refugees. It is easier to empathize with people that we feel we can relate to in some way. If you can relate at all to the suffering of my travels the past day, then perhaps you can open up a space in your heart for these refugees who really need a place in your heart.
What has kept me kind has been the truth that I have been prepared in all ways to deal with whatever I am dealing with. If you have good faith then you would never be upset because you know that it is going God's way. And if you think of it like that, then you would be overjoyed because all is going to plan. It is definitely those strong of faith that make it through the grueling rescue boat ride.
Whatever situation you are going through, keep your head up and have faith. You are valid in your feelings and struggles, but try not to cut yourself off from being empathetic to other people's feelings and struggles. You are loved, and you are being given an opportunity to grow. You were given the strength to make it through, and moving forward with faith is the easy way out.