Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: We all have problems, but mine are worse!

STRENGTH & FOCUS: We all have problems, but mine are worse!
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Have you ever witnessed, experienced, or even taken part in a verbal exchange where people are arguing over whose problems are worse? Maybe you’ve seen it on social media or observed it in person – people actually debating and trying to compete over having the biggest problems.

What does this accomplish? Are awards handed out for the biggest and best problems, or is there some other drive? Are these behaviors and motives attention-seeking, a need for pity, as in “woe is me,” or is it simply a misguided attempt to be understood? If either of the former, I hope you get your trophy; if the latter, in a moment, I’ll offer a suggestion to guide our understanding of each other’s problems in a healthy and productive manner.

Personally, when it comes to my own issues, I like to let that shit go and rid myself of problems, while some folks “gotta catch ‘em all” like Pokémon! Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with some high school and college students, and we discussed this topic at great length.

There’s a quote by Scottish author and theologian Ian Maclaren that states, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Perhaps you’ve seen this as a meme in some form across social media. I think if people were to remember this quote and pay a little more respect to one another, we might find that understanding and supporting one another during times of struggle can produce better results.

To better support what I mean by “understanding and support,” watch this video in which life coach and inspirational speaker Garry Melville and I discuss this topic further. The example I use in this video, “viewing your life and social circles as a grand temple,” is the same example I used during my recent discussion with the students mentioned above. I think it holds weight and provides a clear visual representation of this idea:

If this is something you’d like to discuss personally, please reach out to me directly at

Be excellent, and thanks for reading!

Create the future you want with the choice to change now! This column offers Strength & Focus for the moments you need to overcome the distractions of the week, each and every day. Look for it every Monday on NEPA Scene.