Philosophy | Music

It’s All Relative

Are you having a long day
Everyone you meet rubs you the wrong way
Dirty city streets smell like an ashtray
Morning bells are ringing in your ear
Is your brother on a church kick
Seems like just a different kind of dope sick
Better off to teach a dog a card trick
And try to have a point and make it clear
You should know compared
To people on a global scale
Our kind has had it relatively easy
And here with you there’s always
Something to look forward to
Our angry heart beats relatively easy
— Jason Isbell, Relatively Easy

When you want to reset your brain about minor inconveniences and perceived affronts, take a look at the rest of the world. Take a look at the people you care about wasting away with terminal illnesses. Get outside of yourself and see the pain in another’s eyes. Sure, we suffer too, but aren’t we getting off relatively easy compared to so many?

I spent two hours on hold with an airline trying to apply a credit from one cancelled flight towards another flight that might end up being cancelled too. There was a time when I might have complained about this, embraced the indignities of modern economics, and pointed out the frustration of the moment for all to hear. I’m not that indignant anymore. What are our problems compared to others?

There are no bombs dropping in the neighborhood at the moment. No tanks rolling across the landscape targeting my family and friends. We have food and shelter and our health, and a reasonable chance of having each again tomorrow and next year.

We have it relatively easy. Isn’t that enough? Learn the rhythm of celebrating what we do have. Dance with the world outside our own heads.

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