Last Friday I wrote a post about how we can always be helping others who may need a little assistance. I also gave a little primer on some things that you shouldn’t say.

One of my “don’t’s” really hit a chord with some people, so I decided today that I would ask the following question:

Is it selfish to think of the needs of your family, even if there is suffering going on in other places?

Many people stated that they have seen people complaining about the high cost of things and inflation be tagged by others as “lacking empathy” and are told “you know, you could be in Ukraine, so be thankful for that”.

Is there a problem with worrying about providing for yourself or your family? Do you lack empathy if you don’t think you can pay for a necessity because the price of gas has gone up astronomically?

Should you criticize someone because they are worried about their finances because that is small in comparison to problems in the rest of the world?

Should you criticize anyone for complaining about something that effects them directly and perhaps harshly?

Discuss:

For further thought- I volunteer with an organization that provides meals for those too ill to cook for themselves. The rise in gas prices will directly affect their ability to provide meals. They may be forced to not take on anyone new, or reduce the people they provide for…just saying…

60 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Selfish

  1. Criticizing someone because they’re concerned about finances or anything is wrong to me. The whole ‘count your blessings’ statement can only go so far. I think about the people who are struggling every day and take it very seriously. Everything has gone up—my medicine, gas, food, Netflix, and even Amazon Prime is increasing. We are fortunate to have our needs met and then some, and I’m thankful everyday for it. How long is this going to last. Nobody knows and to me people have a right to express their emotions and worries.

    This gets me thinking about this week when my husband talked to his father for the first time in probably 7 months. When my husband told him all that he had going on—including the death of one of his closest friends from Covid—he told my husband that it sounded like he needed to take a chill pill. To me, that’s the exact opposite of what you should be saying to someone who’s grieving, especially when they’re your kid.

    ❤️ Excellent topic.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Well this is just the way I do things. No judgements here. I listen and then just mirror your statement. “So your struggling with the price of fuel”? I think once we get things off our chest we can then move on to other things that are also crazy bad at the moment. It stops people doubting themselves and others getting their backs up. Just my way.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. No, it is not. We can have concerns, compassion, outrage even for things happening locally and globally and still have concerns, worries, hopes, dreams, we take action on for ourselves and our families. To not do so, is letting everyone down, because now we are not being the best version of ourself.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. A biological family member was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. I am currently completely detached from the world events (pandemic, war) because my capacity to deal has reached a limit.

    Do I still have emotions when I peripherally see the suffering of civilians, the ridiculousness of pandemic protocols and all the rest of the doom and gloom?

    Yes.

    But I have to leave it at the threshold right now.

    There is no need to use a label such as selfish. Sometimes, it just is the way it is.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. This is a great topic. I think a lot of people get uncomfortable when they hear someone open up or complain about a lack of money from high gas prices etc. so they try to minimize that persons suffering by comparing it to people who have it worse rather than letting them complain and get their feelings out.

    On the other hand, while I totally get that it’s really horrible that life is so challenging for some people, there comes a point when you get tired of constant complainers. For instance, at first, I tried to be tolerant of those who went stir crazy during the height of the pandemic. But then, After while some citizens got irrationally angry. Day after day…And I personally was really annoyed when some griped about wearing a mask like it was a death sentence, or complained non stop about stores being closed etc. I’d just had enough of the non stop complaining. At some point I wanted to say, “Suck it up. There are worse things out there. Just follow the rules and Stop being a spoiled baby. People are certainly allowed to feel hurt and angry. And of course one’s family comes first over world events. Complaining helps. But you cannot wallow in it forever.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nope I don’t feel that it’s selfish at all. The gas prices, cost of college, real estate, food is OUTRAGES! I served my country and I’m very grateful that I live in America, for many reasons. My heart breaks for everyone fighting at this time and it breaks for what we must endure as well. Pain is pain and Hurt is hurt!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. As I am one of those complainers and concerned for themselves folks I look at it this way: I think world problems right now are horrific. We are interconnected and problems there influence problems here. It’s the same for solutions to those problems. Everyone is impacted in some way. I understand that. If I was concerned for an inability to afford a daily latte’ from Starbucks, or speaking about how difficult it is to find and pay for spa products or luxury goods or anything that is impacted by a rise in transportation costs then feel free to label me as a complainer and someone with little empathy. I don’t think it’s selfish to think of the impact to oneself or family or to worry about the need to plan for changes if the concern centers around the ability to get decent food, have basic services, get to your job, afford gas for your car, pay your bills etc. I think the people who are concerned about those basic things are probably the same people who think and plan everyday how to live within a budget, live within their means and even small changes may impact them greatly. I bet those people would love to send money or items to help others, and not just those in crisis. I would ask how many of the non-complainers have given up their latte’s or multiple streaming subscriptions, or tech gadgets and sent that money to those in need, or volunteer such as you do or actively shown their own empathy for others. What some may view as lack of empathy by others could very well be true and heightened fear about managing basic living for themselves while sadly knowing others are suffering with much worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s just it…some people aren’t complaining to complain…they are saying things out of fear and worries about insecurity of resources just to get by

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We need to face the day that is given us with little grumbling. But I would never criticize someone for prioritizing the needs of their family and being more concerned over those immediate needs than what is likely just virtue signaling anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ll be a little blunt, taking care of yourself and family is your #1 priority. It is not selfish, its responsability. Feeling for others is great but unless you going to step up and make a difference in that persons’ plight…. it is really just a means to make that person feel better about themselves.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Do I say to myself “Things could be worse?” All the time. Would I say it to someone else who is worried about how things are going here in America? No. I have no idea the true struggles of another family. I might start talking about how important it is to get the voting rights acts get passed so we can make sure to have our voices heard in the way our country is run though. If we let autocracy take over there will definitely be more to worry about.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a lot of trouble sometimes when people compare ‘wooden legs’ (we grew up with this old term for suffering that somebody now will argue is ‘something-ist’, discriminatory against pirates maybe), like when a dear friend recently was moaning, in genuine mental suffering, about how nobody could ever understand his/her suffering. We ALL have extremes of suffering at different times, so we all just do our best, even if the best seems pretty crappy sometimes. and even if the circumstances of one seem more openly harrowing than that of another. Nobody ever truly knows how another person or even animal suffers, and we all deserve relief and wellbeing.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Myself? I don’t personally think that anything is wrong in worrying about providing for your family. Even if that includes bitching about the jacked up prices with gas and many, many more things. If you didn’t ever worry, about where your next dollar, or meal was coming from. (things you need to sustain & get you through life) Then you must be rich or very humble. My opinion is, NO. It’s not wrong to worry. The way things are going clear across the country is out of anyone’s hands. No one can keep it from happening or continuing the way it has, was, or will be.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m complaining about the saguaros dying in my yard, the struggles my kids are going through and my side effects taking prednisone this week. It doesn’t mean I’m not concerned with issues going on throughout the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Family needs to come first. It’s like being on an airplane. You need to put you air mask on first before yiu help others. People have a right to be concerned. Things are not good in our country right now. Once people figure out what they need then they can figure out what to do to help others.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m okay with shutting down chronic complainers who obviously don’t appreciate their good lives. But I don’t think you’re talking about them. I do think it can be helpful to think about the plight of others versus your own situation, but not as a result of blaming or shaming . Unless the person is a known constant offender. 🤣 I hate virtue signaling as much as I hate selfishness. So , case by case basis on this question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was in response to the Facebook thing a few weeks ago that literally said…don’t complain aboit the price of gas…be thankful you’re not in Ukraine

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still seeing those . Virtue signaling does not impress me . As far as gas prices, I think people are clueless about what is coming with the climate agenda. Are they going to be so willing to pay high prices for every type of energy when the energy transition really gets going ?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I been thinking about this post and hopefully I can explain my thoughts well enough.
    A problem is a problem. What may be a little problem to me could be big to you and just as important as my problem!!
    .i have had friends tell me when I was going through a real hard time that they hate to complain because compared to me their problem is so minor. I told them NOT to think that. Yes, their problem may not be earth shattering but they still have pain!

    BUT … I do believe that sometimes we can get so embroiled into our own problems that we can lose perspective and I am not trying to sound unsympathetic. What I have a problem with is people ranting and complaining because things inconvenience them. Not that its a real hardship for them but they just don’t like it! Thats when I want to yell to step into someone else’s shoes, and to think how “inconvenient” it is to have bombs flying over your head or to not have enough money for groceries. Not just the “inconvenience” of not being able to eat out…. understand?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I think we should stop playing “trauma olympics” (forgot where I heard that term, but it is apt). Gas is hella high right now and that effects everyone, even if you don’t have a car, so I’m unclear about how caring about how much money is flying out of your pocket equates with being in Ukraine. Both/and…both/and. I can both be concerned for how inflation is impacting society, and I can also be empathetic toward war-torn citizens. We all can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trauma Olympics is a great term. What sort of inspired this rant was this Facebook thing that went around…where it literally said….don’t complain about the price of guess. Be thankful you’re not in Ukraine. It just annoyed me…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. We have every right to be concerned about our family’s struggles. Every challenge is unique but no matter the degree of suffering, we can only see what’s in front of us. We can feel empathy for others in the world but our connections to those we love is what matters most.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There’s a lot of shaming going on in the world today. I think we need to be able to name our suffering without judgment. Compassion might be a better response to the suffering of others. Whatever the issue might be. 💕C

    Liked by 2 people

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