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Breaking News: stop comparing yourself to 'kids in africa'

Updated: Sep 19, 2019

They day after I cried myself to sleep I saw the gut wrenching headline.

"Multiple people dead after a shooting at an El Paso shopping center near the U.S.-Mexico border."

As an advocate for common sense gun laws I knew what the next 48 hours-week had in store. People posting on their stories a combination of "thoughts and prayers for el paso" and "fuck your thoughts and prayers". Activists taking to twitter to call on their legislators for action with little return. A heated debate, presidential disappointment, and brief awareness of how messed up our country is. However after 48 hours-a week the dust would settle until the next tragedy. Its not fair, but its fact. It was my awareness of this tragedy and the next to follow soon after in Dayton that made me feel selfish. Selfish that I had tear stained cheeks not over the lives of literal children but over being dumped. Oldest cliche in the book. The death count threw me into a deeper depression cozied up in the familiarity of my bed. It is these moments that blanket me in overwhelming sadness. How can I care about the fact that my heart is broken when there are kids who have died and never lived to go through their first heartbreak. The combination of world chaos and personal chaos often is so loud you are blinded and deafened from your everyday happiness. Its possible you don't feel that type of pain; you hear about a tragedy and your self awareness prevents a breakdown or personal chaos does not touch the strength of your core. Even if that's the case its a universal truth that people in first world countries consistently compare their struggles in an unproductive way. Venting to a friend about an annoying teacher and hearing "it could be worse, you could be a child in africa and not even have a teacher." Yeah no shit it could be worse Jessica I didn't rant to you for you to tell me that sis. Also do you think african kids don't have teachers? That's not...correct. Point being, fuck jessica. Your feelings are valid and sizing them up to a news story of sadness has absolutely no benefit--to you or those effected by that tragedy. Volunteering, donating, spreading awareness, these are all productive ways to contribute to the cause of a tragedy. Crying in your bed because you care more about your breakup than a mass shooting (i'm talking to you ayesha) is not. Allowing yourself to heal and feel your emotions without the guilt of knowing "it could be worse" makes for room to become a better person. Your pity for those in upsetting situations is worth nothing if that's all it is--pity. Be stronger for yourself and empathize with actions, not guilty tears.

-not too happy with not being too happy,


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