A friend’s daughter was recently diagnosed with MS. It’s heartbreaking news, as she’s only 28, but I’ve been amazed at how well she has been handling the diagnosis. She has thrown herself into maintaining a healthy lifestyle and never plays the victim, even though she’s certainly entitled to get upset or feel down. She’s been very inspiring.
My friend, of course, has been giving her daughter a lot of support. Naturally, the diagnosis is also very difficult for her and her husband. They have been fighting to keep a positive attitude but sometimes things come up. For example, a colleague of her husband’s was over for dinner and was complaining about his visit to the doctor for a minor ailment. He kept whining about his illness and complaining about the service he got. It was a real pity party. At one point my friend had to leave the table to keep herself from telling this guy that he should be counting his blessings. This man was aware of their daughter’s situation but still thought he had a right to complain about his own bad luck.
Sometimes all we can see are our own problems. But in times like this, it’s important to keep perspective. Of course our friends don’t expect us to never mention anything bad when they’re going through something far worse. They do want to know what’s going on in our lives. But, dwelling on something that, in the grand scheme of things, is relatively minor, constantly sending out negative energy, or never bothering to check in on how others are doing, smacks of selfishness. It’s not always about you.