surinenglish

So traumatic for the people

In a desperate race to the bottom, we appear to be hell bent these days, on trying do outdo each other as to who among us has the most to complain about. It's a kind of Top Trumps for victims.

"My father was a cold authoritarian figure, who only ever looked up from his newspaper to clip me round the ear and make me eat plates of gruel."

"That's nothing, mate, my parents yelled at each other until my ears bled. Then they got divorced and both told me to stop bleeding at the ears or they'd give me something to bleed about."

"Oh, be quiet the pair of you. My parents were tragically killed in a traumatic incident involving an argument about whose turn it was to bath me and an inconveniently positioned hair dryer."

"Well you poor things - my parents snuffed it before I was born."

"Hmmf, actually mine were pushing up the daisies before I was even conceived."

"Eh?"

The point is, everyone's got something to feel hard done about - a rubbish job, horrible neighbours, a wooden leg, being a Manchester United supporter, etc. but some people just seem to have a greater capacity to shrug their shoulders and get on with things while others prefer to wallow in the drama of how their life isn't quite perfect. Well, here's the thing - nobody's is.

While some bloke with no legs will complete a month's pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in a wheelchair festooned in brightly coloured balloons, his next-door neighbour will be in his air conditioned office complaining that there isn't enough bacon on his egg and bacon roll and that someone's nicked his stapler.

It's a question of perspective. If you're in generally good health, you've got a roof over your head and a bacon and egg roll on the table, you've basically won the lottery of life. If your mum didn't drive you to Taekwondo and macramé classes on Tuesdays or ruffle your hair every other minute, calling you the centre of the universe, that's not a trauma, it's a mum who had more interesting things to be doing with her time.

The Eagles have got a song called Get Over It. It's not a very good song - in fact it's one of their worst - but the sentiment is nothing short of perfect.