I don't use profanity online but, on this occasion, I hope I can be forgiven for quoting Brad Feld's blog post Something new is fucked up in my World every day (please take a moment to read it).
What struck me most about the post was the honesty and, at the same time, acknowledgement that no matter how hard life is, it's never as bad as you think it is when you set it against other, less fortunate people.
Perhaps it's too hackneyed for you, but in our consumerist world where enough is never enough, we do well to remind ourselves that there are people (and species) dying right now in circumstances that, if we really cared, should not happen.
When I was growing up, my parents were always apt to remind me -- when I pushed my food around on my plate or moaned about my lack of 'things' -- how bloody lucky I was, when compared to the fate of others. Frankly, at that age, it was like water off a duck's back, but, increasingly, I find myself saying the same thing to my children, not least because I really don't think they recognise what they have when set against vast swathes of the world's population.
I know a lot of work has been done on gratitude, but I think we do well, every day, to sit in quiet contemplation and remind ourselves how truly lucky we are, even if, as in the case of Mr Feld, we're suffering under the huge weight of expectation which often births so many of the maladies we now see in the workplace and society.
I don't know about you, but even in those times of deep despair, I find there's always that fleeting moment where I recognise how lucky I am to be alive...to enjoy everything that life has to offer -- demons and all.
PS. Right now in Great Britain, we're having to deal with another general election where each politician tries to outdo the other with jibes, quips and slogans portraying them as no-hopers. I think the whole political class needs to take a long hard look at themselves, and consider if that's the right messaging. Oh sure, in a dog eat dog world, it sounds particularly apposite, but just imagine a different narrative where we were much more accepting of what we had and lived together in closer union. Pie in the sky? Quite possibly, but staying on the materialistic trail will only lead to one inevitable outcome: an apocalyptic end.