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Thread: heavy post about living in poverty

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    Default heavy post about living in poverty

    im just having one of those moments where everything i see seems so heavy. Its Like 10 tonnes of weight on me. Ive been so deliberately detached and sober lately i think its finally caught up with me.

    Im talking to this girl over the internet from the poorer side of town here. Shes a 22 year old mother and the dad ran off on her. She has a picture of her little boy and her house is so poor looking, sparse with cheap furniture, a little yellow chair to sit on. Shes not really the best looking girl but she seems to be trying. She doesn't get on with her mum and her dad has been murdered. She says she wants to finish her high school then go to university. Her grammar and spelling is not that good either. Such troubles and this boy looks so innocent with his small blue eyes.He is probablly going to grow up doing it hard. Im just feeling pain because i can see the forces affecting her life and maybe she cant.

    The human condition can really suck for some people. Its just too much really. All i can think of is to try to be kinder to people i think. . Perhaps because i have grown up with everything i know how money isn't really that important. People who grow up doing it tough can sometimes get stuck within the system and dream of money as it seems like the path to happiness. Its not really.
    Last edited by meatburger; 04-04-2008 at 12:02 PM.
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    Creepy-Cyclops

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    One of my friends is a single mum. I try support her as I can. Although I don't know how friendly you are with this girl..just be careful yourself Meatburger.

    However, my friend does struggle for money everyso, but her girl is five now and goes to school. My friend has a job now during the day (and recently became a supervisor) and she attends night school once a week (i've baby sat that night of late)

    Important thing is, yes it's been hard for her at times, but doesn't mean it's always gonna be that way. She's doing good for herself now, and as I tell her she's got the self respect knowing she's pulled it off for herself..nothing that's worth having is easy..which makes one feel good about the achievement, when there and while getting there.

    Furniture and stuff is just things. These things can be built up. Also, second hand sofas and what have you can be of really good quality. Sometimes it can be fun to laugh at having nothing! Sense of humour always helps!

    Sometimes just being a friend and someone to hang out with everyso often is enough to keep others (and ourselves!) on the straight and narrow, I think. Just hang out and have a laugh and stuff..think of it like that pulp song 'common people' .. We've really got nothing because we think it's cool lol.

    Any help?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by meatburger View Post
    The human condition can really suck for some people. Its just too much really. All i can think of is to try to be kinder to people i think. . Perhaps because i have grown up with everything i know how money isn't really that important. People who grow up doing it tough can sometimes get stuck within the system and dream of money as it seems like the path to happiness. Its not really.
    I agree. And it must be especially painful for a very positive, energetic type like yourself (IEEs esp) to perceive harsh realities when you'd like to always believe there's a positive and a light at the end of the tunnel. Me, I expect disparities, but also don't like to be reminded of them. The "ugly" side of life can really strike one so acutely.

    I think your resolution is a particularly good one. Even if all you decide to take from this now is actively foster empathy for others and teach yourself to be gentle with them, that will be far more reaching than you might think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aka-kitsune View Post
    I agree. And it must be especially painful for a very positive, energetic type like yourself (IEEs esp) to perceive harsh realities when you'd like to always believe there's a positive and a light at the end of the tunnel. Me, I expect disparities, but also don't like to be reminded of them. The "ugly" side of life can really strike one so acutely.

    I think your resolution is a particularly good one. Even if all you decide to take from this now is actively foster empathy for others and teach yourself to be gentle with them, that will be far more reaching than you might think.

    Namaste.
    Thanks for that post i really liked it! Yeah the ugly side of life can hit you like a brick if you pay attention to it. I think it takes a lot of courage to see life without rose coloured glasses on. I kind of started thinking it this morning in the conjoined twins thread. I have real difficulty seeing people with actual physical problems. People who are mentally handicapped, deformed, in wheelchairs etc. To me i cant see a way past their pain. Like however much work i do to help them it seems like theres still going to be this reminder that is so strong that something is wrong. (probablly i am underestimating the human spirit?). Perhaps i need to work on people who have largely mental barriers? Thats one thing ive always admired about INFp's. They are highly represented in nursing, aged care, caring for people with mental disabilities etc. I cant see myself handling this. So yeah INFp's and others who do this stuff are unsung heroes often for little pay.

    My INFj friend said to me today that everything balances out in the end. I just cant understand how you can have that opinion when you think of someone born with down syndrome for example. Unless of course you believe in spirituality which i dont really. So any idealism i had has been stripped away by what i believe to be the harsh truths of the universe. The only truth left is that you have two choices, to take positive action or negative action. One alleviates suffering and one causes it.
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    Creepy-Cyclops

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    I don't know if I understand this talk about people being disadvantaged=unhappy.

    Being happy is an advantage, regardless of how your circumstance may look to others. Unless their in direct physical pain for instance, it's about a persons own personal perspective on their own circumstance.

    And people with downs syndrome can be happy, just like people without it can be unhappy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    I don't know if I understand this talk about people being disadvantaged=unhappy.

    Being happy is an advantage, regardless of how your circumstance may look to others. Unless their in direct physical pain for instance, it's about a persons own personal perspective on their circumstance.

    And people with downs syndrome can be happy, just like people without it can be unhappy.
    I definately agree, i think i was more just voicing my thoughts out loud in saying that im not sure i could help people with issues like that. I suppose its that things like that seem to place limits on human potential that i dont like.
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    I'd contribute my honest thoughts in response, but I'm afraid they'd offend a lot of people. But basically, you can't let their problems bring you down. Everyone has their own problems and are responsible for themselves and the situations they've gotten into. Why let it drag you down? You can't solve anyones problems, someone's happiness is entirely up to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meatburger View Post
    I definately agree, i think i was more just voicing my thoughts out loud in saying that im not sure i could help people with issues like that. I suppose its that things like that seem to place limits on human potential that i dont like.
    I think I understand. Maybe your Ne makes you see potential in people. And if someones disadvantaged then you can see possibilities they cannot achieve because of that disadvantage.

    Way I see it, is you can also see possibilities of things they can still be, and you can still improve their life (if you wanted to) with that in mind. Your Fi will help you understand what they really want and feel so you can channel the new ideas to them specifically. So don't underestimate what you can do.

    (On the converse i'll look at the practical and see what we've got and work on making your ideas come to fruition in a practical sense.)

    Another way to look at it, is someone who's dads a multi millionaire might think life sucks for people being stuck in a dead end job, but the reality is most of us can be content with their lot.

    Well, I think i'm making some sense, maybe if I read over it I won't, so sorry if i'm rambling!

    Edit: could also be a positivist-negativist way of looking into situation. But I agree with Jess, you can't spread yourself too thin. Sometimes just need to care about those that are important to you in your life..whoever they may be.

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    I had a whole post that took me 30 minutes to write out that I lost. I will respond to this later, just letting you know.
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    haha i understand cyclops. Im also rambling, im not talking about anything in particular lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by jessica129 View Post
    I'd contribute my honest thoughts in response, but I'm afraid they'd offend a lot of people. But basically, you can't let their problems bring you down. Everyone has their own problems and are responsible for themselves and the situations they've gotten into. Why let it drag you down? You can't solve anyones problems, someone's happiness is entirely up to them.
    Thats the agency vs structure debate. I like to believe in personal agency but you find that human nature often follows patterns to do with their social circumstances. Is a person who leads a life of crime totally responsible if it was caused somewhat by parental abuse? I know what your saying that humans need to ultimately make the descions to change themselves, but we do have the ability to influence others to some extent. We live in an individualistic society where the onus is on the individual to succeed. This is a very me me me selfish way of looking at things. I dont think all peoples problems are created equal. My problems might be that my sink is broken and my job is annoying me, while another persons problems might be that dont even have any food to eat.

    Anyway i didn't want it to be a big rant, because honestly whats the point lol. Life is not fair, yerp i know lol.

    @Tereg i hate it when that happens
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    Quote Originally Posted by meatburger View Post
    I definately agree, i think i was more just voicing my thoughts out loud in saying that im not sure i could help people with issues like that. I suppose its that things like that seem to place limits on human potential that i dont like.
    I've thought about all this myself, Meatburger, and it can get very depressing. For me at least, I get depressed when I see several examples of crappy stuff with nothing good to balance it out. But, everything in the world comes in opposities. so, as much pain as your friend may be experiencing now, it's things like that which dig a big hole in your heart in which to put the happiness later. No one is completely unlucky, and sticking it out, things do get better. Also, situations look much worse or much better from far away. There are lots of miserable rich people as well, and most people won't tell you how happy they really are (or are not).

    I read somewhere that people who lost a leg are happier than people who have won the lottery. Eventually, you accept you don't have a leg. You get a fake leg, and get back into things no problem. But with the lottery, everyone's asking you for money, people expect you to be thrilled, there's weird pressure, yet your life doesn't change all that much except for the material stuff so you're unsatisfied, etc.

    But I got on a similar kick a while back though, except I was pissed off that idealism/art/kindness didn't seem to have a place in that tough, list-checking, corporate society. It made me really, really depressed and I didn't see how I could ever contribute to the world -- which kinda sounds like part of your post, as far as not being able to help some people realize their full potential if they have disabilities, etc. It got pretty bad and I painted a picture about it and was going to throw it away (because what was the point, no one cares about art, etc.). My mom stole it from me so I wouldn't throw it away and posted it online and someone bought it. So here my painting about how no one likes paintings is hanging up in someone's house. My point is, right when you think you have it all figured out, everything changes. Or you might want to read the book of secrets by chopra (I'm not very "spiritual" either, but this book was ok and brought my idealism back).
    Hi! I'm an ENFP. :-)

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    I don't think it's really acceptable to say that everything balances out in the end or that the world is full of opposites...it would be better if everything was good .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    I don't think it's really acceptable to say that everything balances out in the end or that the world is full of opposites...it would be better if everything was good .
    Intersting. How do you measure if something is good, if everything is good? Wouldn't that just make everything average?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Intersting. How do you measure if something is good, if everything is good? Wouldn't that just make everything average?
    If everything was good, nothing would be bad. Things might be average, but they would be better than they are now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    If everything was good, nothing would be bad. Things might be average, but they would be better than they are now.
    Sometimes the good things are better, because experiencing bad things for a while make the good things worthwhile. Sometimes same all time makes the thing bad

    I agree with what your saying, but overall.. to experience the heights, one must also experience the depths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Sometimes the good things are better, because experiencing bad things for a while make the good things worthwhile. Sometimes same all time makes the thing bad

    I agree with what your saying, but overall.. to experience the heights, one must also experience the depths.
    I agree, which is why I'm prone to bouts of genocide from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    I agree, which is why I'm prone to bouts of genocide from time to time.
    lol. And it's why everyso often, I like people.

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    I understand what you're feeling, meatburger. Sometimes I feel guilty for having such an easy life. And my husband will say I shouldn't be silly, that our life is easy because of choices we've made. But it doesn't always seem like that. Some people just have bad luck. And in some cases we've just had good luck. And even if people are having a rough time because they've made bad choices, I still feel something inside me that wants to help them see their potential - help them see that things can be better. And I wish I could help people get there, even, but I don't really have the ability to help everyone in the world.
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    @slackermum, what would you do to help some people?

    Edit: sometimes i've tried to help people, and for some reason it's done more harm

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    When I hear about bad things, I feel sad. When I experience good things, I feel sad, because I think about all the people who are not experiencing good things. If there was only good, I might not be able to recognise it, but at least I wouldn't feel sad . I don't have much desire to help people when I feel sad, because it really seems endless. And when I'm happy, I'm oblivious.

    If you prevent starving children from dying in some densely populated part of the world, you are only making the problem worse, because they will probably have children too. The greatest act of kindness could always turn out to be a negative act. I despise my inability to know when to help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    @slackermum, what would you do to help some people?
    Two things. First, I wish I could give everyone in the world gobs of money so they don't have to scrimp.

    But second, I want people to see that they do have options. Like a cousin wanted to study education so she'd get a job, but teaching jobs are hard to come by here, they don't pay much if you can find one, it takes 4 years and gobs of money to get one, and she doesn't like hanging out with kids. So I suggested maybe a 2-year nursing degree, which costs much less money and she has much more chance of finding a job, and the job will most likely pay better than teaching, and so long as she isn't in pediatrics she shouldn't have to deal with kids all the time. I guess that's the kind of thing my husband means by "making bad choices" but it's like people are TRYING to make good choices and can't. People think putting money into education is going to be a good idea and help improve their situation. But just throwing money in the direction of education doesn't help. What if you end up with huge student loan debts and you can't stand the work so you quit the job and can't pay them off? What if you can't find a job that uses your degree in the first place and are just stuck with the student loans, and you're still waiting tables at Denny's at the end of it? Or what if you quit the Denny's job for a teaching job, hate the teaching job and quit, and then the job at Denny's isn't available anymore and you're just completely out of luck? People just don't think things through. And it isn't like I can take over people's lives and just tell them what to do, and I don't like to be pushy or preachy or anything. So I try to casually make gentle suggestions naturally in conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meatburger View Post
    Thats the agency vs structure debate. I like to believe in personal agency but you find that human nature often follows patterns to do with their social circumstances. Is a person who leads a life of crime totally responsible if it was caused somewhat by parental abuse? I know what your saying that humans need to ultimately make the descions to change themselves, but we do have the ability to influence others to some extent. We live in an individualistic society where the onus is on the individual to succeed. This is a very me me me selfish way of looking at things. I dont think all peoples problems are created equal. My problems might be that my sink is broken and my job is annoying me, while another persons problems might be that dont even have any food to eat.

    Anyway i didn't want it to be a big rant, because honestly whats the point lol. Life is not fair, yerp i know lol.
    This is a good example of why I really <3 NF types, esp IEEs. A very thoughtful ethical pov, not judgemental, just empathetic. I find IEEs in idealistic ethical mode to be so inspirational. They really take my breath away!

    Makes me wonder if this is a common characteristic. Very noble! Chivalry! Very attractive...

    I often wish I were one of those INFps that aren't fazed by malady. I have a close friend with an autistic son. I'm usually at a loss how to respond to him and have often thought about how much of a hardship that must be to see your child face so much uphill battle for their entire life. I have no problem directly engaging with friends and handling their personal issues (depression, etc), but faced with chronic conditions, physical care & hygiene, deformity, death, etc. generally causes a strong feeling of aversion that I don't really know how to handle gracefully.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessica129 View Post
    I'd contribute my honest thoughts in response, but I'm afraid they'd offend a lot of people. But basically, you can't let their problems bring you down. Everyone has their own problems and are responsible for themselves and the situations they've gotten into. Why let it drag you down? You can't solve anyones problems, someone's happiness is entirely up to them.
    Because there is a little group of neurons in the brain called mirror neurons. Those, in simple terms, cause an internal event that reflects an external one. So if you see pain outside, you feel pain inside. It goes beyond the conscious control and it's automatic.

    The level of activity in that group of neurons pretty much determines how much do you care about others. Low sensitivity and you can pretty much walk past a mutilated person. High sensitivity and you'll find it difficult to see someone having problems with the car and not stop and give a hand.

    The problem with IEE is that the sensor coping technique doesn't work. Sensors just get away from the situation and forget it; or better put, get distracted from it. IEEs, on the other side, can't disconnect from a situation even if they are not physically there -their perception is detached from their senses.

    So your question only reveals that you don't have the level of sensitivity an average IEE has and you're proposing a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. Such discomfort at large scale is what causes the "idealist" behavior, with all it's ups and downs.
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    This is an awesome thread meatburger...

    Quote Originally Posted by jewels View Post
    I've thought about all this myself, Meatburger, and it can get very depressing. For me at least, I get depressed when I see several examples of crappy stuff with nothing good to balance it out. But, everything in the world comes in opposities. so, as much pain as your friend may be experiencing now, it's things like that which dig a big hole in your heart in which to put the happiness later. No one is completely unlucky, and sticking it out, things do get better. Also, situations look much worse or much better from far away. There are lots of miserable rich people as well, and most people won't tell you how happy they really are (or are not).
    I really like this sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    If you prevent starving children from dying in some densely populated part of the world, you are only making the problem worse, because they will probably have children too. The greatest act of kindness could always turn out to be a negative act. I despise my inability to know when to help.
    That's a very utilitarian way of looking at things. However, you will never know for certain the long term consequences of actions unless you look at what happened in similar occasions in the past. But, supposing that there is nothing "to work with" in terms of guidance in how to reach a certain positive outcome, I would perform acts of kindness (based on what I consider "acts of kindness") regardless of what I think will happen in the near future. You never know if positive outcomes work like this type of graph in the longterm:




    -------------------------------------------------------


    Also, I do see that there are expectations on how your life should be fulfilled which can be dictated by society, which might cause people to feel bad due to other people's apparent misfortunes. I believe that people get used to different ways of living their lives and not consider it to be lacking though. Regardless, I have always felt guilty when I see someone who does not have the things that make my life comfortable, especially if it's something that I did not work for and was given to me for free. People with disabilities also make me feel bad, though I refuse to pity them. It's just a part of life, and feeling guilty and pitying does not help anything.

    Sometimes I feel that the wrong people attain all the recognition and the glory in life, when there are those that have to go through incredible obstacles and go unnoticed... I bow down to people that have the courage and willpower to endure harsh circumstances of life, be it physical impediments, no money or food, other people's ridicules because of deformaties, etc, and still keep a straight face. These people really inspire me, and get a high level of respect from my part. I even look at them as being in a higher status than me.

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    I retyped out the post. I haven't really seen most of the responses, but I'll go back through it once I post this.

    ----

    I know that I start off with this line of thinking as well. And usually what I'm thinking about that makes it so heavy for me is I put myself in their position, and I ask myself "What would I do if I had this and how would I handle it if other people made fun of me or looked at me weirdly? Would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to overcome everyday challenges?" And I wouldn't be able to say with any certainty that I would be able to handle it with class and be able to push those things aside, just accept it as a fact of life and do whatever I can the best that I can. Honestly, I don't know that I would be able to overcome those things. I think that's where the heavy feelings originate.

    Edit: I think to some degree it's also wanting to see people out of messes that they get stuck in, and feeling like I'm unable to do anything about it.

    But I think what has shifted my line of thinking of empathy and pity over the years are the stories about those who have been afflicted in some physical or mental way who have done extraordinary things. Or people that have been in the worst kinds of circumstances and are able to rise above it and do extraordinary things. I mean, really extraordinary things. The drive that some of these people have is truly inspirational.

    There are several stories out there, but here's a personal example of someone I knew. When I was younger, about 10 or 11, I was involved in little league baseball. It was the time of the year when kids would tryout and teams would draft those players who tried out. Our little league had a division called the "Challenger" division which was for physically and mentally handicapped kids to have the opportunity to play baseball. There was one person in particular that year, a double-amputee of the arms who had played in the Challenger division, who wanted more of a challenge, so he decided to try out in the regular divisions.

    Physically, he dominated the Challenger division, mostly because of his natural ability. For the tryouts, he demonstrated his athletic abilities, and he had most of the tools needed to play the game of baseball. He could hit (using a method that he devised), he could field, he was quick and agile. The only thing that he could not do was throw a baseball. He played basketball, did normal kid things, and liked athletics. He wanted to push himself. I remember when he was asked about what he would think if people made fun of him or if they looked at him funny. It never phased him. He never waivered. If he was asked if he felt limited, he was always said that he was confident in what he was able to do and that he could do things just as well as others. And he backed it up. There was always an air of unshakable confidence he had. If you said that you could beat him, he was not afraid to challenge you. That always stuck with me, and to this day, I really admire that quality in people.

    I should explain how he became a double-amputee. When he was about 4 or so, he was playing near an open transformer box, and electrocuted himself on it. He had to have both arms amputated to about 3 inches below each elbow. So, this is the method he used to hit a baseball: first, he took the handle of the bat and held it in his left armpit. Then he took the barrel of the bat and rested it on his right arm. To swing the bat, he would torque his body around. It was quite effective.

    Anyways, I want to try to keep this story short, but this story does have a happy ending.

    So, I wasn't at the tryouts, but my dad, who was a little league manager at the time, was there and he had mentioned what he had seen when he came back from tryouts. I had a science project for school at the time, which was to invent something. I had wondered out loud to dad if maybe there was something I could invent for him to be able to throw a baseball. The rough idea that I had to demonstrate my idea was putting two plastic cups on end to one another. One opening for the arm, and another opening for the ball.

    My dad, who repaired baseball gloves as a side hobby, helped me to refine my rough design. The final product resembled a leather, tubular waffle cone with the front end of the top sliced off. The bottom opening was velcro-adjustable for his arm, and the top part acted as a sling, similar to the concept of Jai Alai, but not as elongated as their devices.

    I remember the day that I brought it to him for the first time. I had actually never met him, lol. But, yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday. We went out into a field across the street from his house. I stood off to the side as my dad and he ran about 20 feet or so apart. My dad threw a ball to him, which he caught in the device (it was not really meant to catch baseballs, but, it just kind of worked out that way in this particular instance). Then he wound up, and slung the ball back to my dad with very good velocity. The device worked.

    He and I went on to be drafted to the same team, and he did exceptionally well for our team. He was our starting right fielder, I think he hit like .429 that year, and we went on to win our division that year.

    So the point of this story is that despite circumstances that appear negative, some people just have that fire and human spirit to rise above their limitations. I understand that some people's situations are extremely tough, and sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is just a glimmer. And I think that as long as you are doing what you feel is right, even if it's just providing moral support, or an ear or a smile, I really think a little goes a long way.

    Sometimes the most desparate of situations brings out the best qualities in people.

    Two of my favorite quotes are these:
    "Kind words can be very short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless." -- Mother Teresa
    "You can never tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of action. Sometimes just with a smile on the street to a passing stranger can make a difference we could never imagine." -- Ed Foreman

    Don't underestimate the impact you have on others, because you're probably doing more than you think.
    Don't underestimate the human spirit, because there are those that can and will overcome things that appear improbable.
    Last edited by tereg; 04-05-2008 at 06:16 AM.
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  26. #26
    Creepy-Diana

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacker Mom View Post
    Two things. First, I wish I could give everyone in the world gobs of money so they don't have to scrimp.

    But second, I want people to see that they do have options. Like a cousin wanted to study education so she'd get a job, but teaching jobs are hard to come by here, they don't pay much if you can find one, it takes 4 years and gobs of money to get one, and she doesn't like hanging out with kids. So I suggested maybe a 2-year nursing degree, which costs much less money and she has much more chance of finding a job, and the job will most likely pay better than teaching, and so long as she isn't in pediatrics she shouldn't have to deal with kids all the time. I guess that's the kind of thing my husband means by "making bad choices" but it's like people are TRYING to make good choices and can't. People think putting money into education is going to be a good idea and help improve their situation. But just throwing money in the direction of education doesn't help. What if you end up with huge student loan debts and you can't stand the work so you quit the job and can't pay them off? What if you can't find a job that uses your degree in the first place and are just stuck with the student loans, and you're still waiting tables at Denny's at the end of it? Or what if you quit the Denny's job for a teaching job, hate the teaching job and quit, and then the job at Denny's isn't available anymore and you're just completely out of luck? People just don't think things through. And it isn't like I can take over people's lives and just tell them what to do, and I don't like to be pushy or preachy or anything. So I try to casually make gentle suggestions naturally in conversation.
    That was interesting, cheers SM

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    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    I know that I start off with this line of thinking as well. And usually what I'm thinking about that makes it so heavy for me is I put myself in their position, and I ask myself "What would I do if I had this and how would I handle it if other people made fun of me or looked at me weirdly? Would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to overcome everyday challenges?" And I wouldn't be able to say with any certainty that I would be able to handle it with class and be able to push those things aside, just accept it as a fact of life and do whatever I can the best that I can. Honestly, I don't know that I would be able to overcome those things. I think that's where the heavy feelings originate..
    Im extremely drunk right now but thats exactly it, you have pinpointed what i mean. I think that is where the heavy feelings originate! I cant believe in even myself conquering these things.
    I really like your post diana. I like many posts by many people in this thread. I will think about it when im less pist

    EDITED: Too negative. I had a hangover all day.
    Last edited by meatburger; 04-06-2008 at 01:45 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Today when I was turning the corner coming home after grocery shopping the back of my car flew open and groceries went tumbling into the middle of the street. I pulled over and waited for cars to stop running over things, to pick up any undamaged bags. A lady stopped her car to help me. I didn't expect this. She was shocked, "I can't believe they're just running over your food, and nobody stopped to help! I saw what happened. I'd be screaming right now if it were me" etc. I thanked her for her help, but only lost a few groceries, most remained in the vehicle, so it was a pretty minor deal. The whole thing didn't cause much reaction in me at all. For some people, it would have. The lady helping me was clearly shook up, and she was just a witness. There are much weightier matters I'm dealing with currently. And that's the thing. Everything else is compared to what's normal for you. The daily pressures you face are your normal. Random events either fall within that normal, or are higher-stress than normal. And your normal readjusts all the time.

    Someone born with a deformity, or into extreme poverty, or extremely fortunate and beautiful or whatever has that as their baseline. That's their normal. A change from that, either good or bad creates a stress. When you see someone in a difficult situation the tendency is to compare it to our own situation, and feel bad or scared or worried or whatever for them, because if we were suddenly thrust into their shoes that's how we'd feel. Knowing how to help or deal with people in situations we've never ourselves faced is difficult because not only do we not know what it's like, in the back of our minds we probably don't want to know what it's like, don't want to imagine having to deal with it ourselves. Common stressors most people go through are easier because we've either experienced them ourselves or don't have too hard of a time imagining experiencing them.

    I'm thankful for all the experiences I've had. It makes life so much easier. The more you go through and survive the smaller other problems seem. So, you have on one hand everyone starting at a different baseline, and then adding in your life experiences increases where your baseline sits. Funny, may seem crazy, but years ago I actually envied the struggles some people went through, that I didn't have the same opportunities to prove myself and overcome such situations that they did. I didn't get to find out if I could handle it. Pretty stupid of me wasn't it?

    A few things I've never wanted to go through were having a disabled child, damaging my mind in some way, or losing a limb, or getting severely burned/disfigured in some way. Thankfully I've gotten to avoid all of those things. Definitely don't want to find out if I could handle those things or a few others.
    Just wanted to say that I think this is an excellent post. The concept that everyone has their own 'normal' - that's really true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Today when I was turning the corner coming home after grocery shopping the back of my car flew open and groceries went tumbling into the middle of the street. I pulled over and waited for cars to stop running over things, to pick up any undamaged bags. A lady stopped her car to help me. I didn't expect this. She was shocked, "I can't believe they're just running over your food, and nobody stopped to help! I saw what happened. I'd be screaming right now if it were me" etc. I thanked her for her help, but only lost a few groceries, most remained in the vehicle, so it was a pretty minor deal. The whole thing didn't cause much reaction in me at all. For some people, it would have. The lady helping me was clearly shook up, and she was just a witness. There are much weightier matters I'm dealing with currently. And that's the thing. Everything else is compared to what's normal for you. The daily pressures you face are your normal. Random events either fall within that normal, or are higher-stress than normal. And your normal readjusts all the time.

    Someone born with a deformity, or into extreme poverty, or extremely fortunate and beautiful or whatever has that as their baseline. That's their normal. A change from that, either good or bad creates a stress. When you see someone in a difficult situation the tendency is to compare it to our own situation, and feel bad or scared or worried or whatever for them, because if we were suddenly thrust into their shoes that's how we'd feel. Knowing how to help or deal with people in situations we've never ourselves faced is difficult because not only do we not know what it's like, in the back of our minds we probably don't want to know what it's like, don't want to imagine having to deal with it ourselves. Common stressors most people go through are easier because we've either experienced them ourselves or don't have too hard of a time imagining experiencing them.

    I'm thankful for all the experiences I've had. It makes life so much easier. The more you go through and survive the smaller other problems seem. So, you have on one hand everyone starting at a different baseline, and then adding in your life experiences increases where your baseline sits. Funny, may seem crazy, but years ago I actually envied the struggles some people went through, that I didn't have the same opportunities to prove myself and overcome such situations that they did. I didn't get to find out if I could handle it. Pretty stupid of me wasn't it?

    A few things I've never wanted to go through were having a disabled child, damaging my mind in some way, or losing a limb, or getting severely burned/disfigured in some way. Thankfully I've gotten to avoid all of those things. Definitely don't want to find out if I could handle those things or a few others.
    You pretty much put my thoughts into words there.

    Great post Diana.

    (I would have responded the same way as the lady helping with your groceries (even the part about how much I couldn't believe those people were just running over your groceries). I've stopped 3 lanes of traffic before just to let some ducks cross the road, I'm sure I would handle a situation with a person much the same way...lol)

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