From Nursery School to Sub A (or Grade 1 as it’s known now), I went to school in a small private school in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. While each of us played on the playgrounds, the boys always used to compete about something. Whatever it was, the boys were trying to show off why they were better than the other kids in the playground.
The first war was with marbles. We used to play marbles each day, every day, a game I always sucked at. Possibly because I owned about 3 marbles my whole life, while other kids had in excess of the number they could count up to. We also used to stand in circles and compare the size of our muscles. I was an extremely chubby 6 year old, so by virtue of the fact that fat could be seen as muscle, I DOMINATED! Lastly, there was a comparison in the speeds our fathers car went up to. If a car went up to 200 kph, you were king of the playground. Unfortunately, ours stopped at about 160 kph, so during the kisses and catches games, no girl was running after me 😦
Something which is evident is games on the playground reflect life as an adult. So today, still, whether loudly or quietly, we compare our toys, our successes, and our achievements with others. But the most weird thing that I’ve found we (which includes myself, ALL THE TIME) do is comparing our problems and issues with others.
So for example, when I hear someone complaining about something, I sometimes thing to myself “OMG, is this person like, being serious? This person is just like Justin Bieber, they need somebody to loooooove… Is she out there? Is she out there?”
It’s interesting how I sometimes become an expert in discerning what a real problem or issue is, and one that doesn’t require much attention. And most of the time, what I deem to be a real problem or issue is something I’m going through, and what I decide to be insignificant is something that I or someone close to me has never experienced before. A random example of this is how some more wealthy people argue that poverty is an issue caused by laziness or whatever, and thus deem the problem with poverty to be less important than is publicised. Or how the less wealthy deem the more wealthy to be spoilt, and when they hear complaints about how someone’s father didn’t spend much time with them, they think it to be useless and insignificant (these are generalisations).
Truth is, we each have our own crosses to bear. We each have had a completely different set of circumstances and events that brought us to where we are, and a completely different set of character traits that determine how we respond to whatever happens. Therefore, someone else’s issue is as important to them as my extreme unhappiness with the increase in the price of Nando’s Quarter Chicken Meal is to me (I’m being facetious, but you get my point).