Gratitude and Pity?

As I was reading this lovely and kind post Where Did That Christmas Spirit Go? by Calen on her blog Impromptu Promptings  I found something which was profound. She asked readers to find out a line which strikes in this otherwise beautiful song(lyrics below!) I could easily find out the line and before I could tell her about it in the comments I saw that she had highlighted it already. I feel this is worthy of being discussed. We all do this in one way or the other. Either we compare ourself with our past selves or with others. You might have seen people saying to you or to friends(even in the self-help books you find such quotes!) that they are better off than many people in the world so they should be thankful. While it’s being grateful to God for your good condition it’s also feeling that some people are miserable and worse off than you are and not in an empathetic way. Schadenfreude? Not exactly but yes there is something which makes you feel that there is a need of comparison in everyday affairs–even in case of most spiritual things you do that without knowing about it!

It’s Christmas time; there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time
But say a prayer to pray for the other ones
At Christmas time
It’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Crop-yield-trends-insufficient-to-feed-the-world-in-2050-Study_strict_xxlOh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow

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14 thoughts on “Gratitude and Pity?

  1. The internet has done so much to open our eyes to the worsening plights in other countries and we just don’t get it that most of us are rich beyond compare to those troubled places. I think the sentiment there may have been innocent enough, but the wording was so trite. I’m glad the new version has changed some of the words.

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  2. I must admit, it is a strange idea that I should be cheerful because I’m not suffering as much as another person. If I’m distressed for some reason, the thought of somebody somewhere else having an even more desperate time doesn’t do anything to make me feel better. Quite the contrary, it just makes me feel more miserable. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it may be one of those things that we say without really thinking it through rather than from any malicious intent. We’re very focused on helping the person in front of us whereas the person we are comparing him or her to is something of an abstraction to us. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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