hierarchy of suffering

An interesting post from a friend about pain and victimhood and the dangers of hierarchical assignments of suffering and pain by individuals, communities, groups, nations, what have you. This was my brief reply:  Was interesting in Rwanda during the genocide, and in Sarajevo during the siege the very natural human tendency towards competition of suffering. However, can’t throw the bay out with the bathwater. There is a therapeutic aspect on some level of understanding, acceptance and perspective gained by the individuals suffering. Also seen this, and it is actively encouraged among vets suffering PTSD, but I get your point, verbalizing and communicating one’s pain should not become a hierarchy of suffering. Always someone, somewhere suffering worse than you. That doesn’t diminish your pain or mine, but means your pain is as valid and substantial to you in your life as my pain is to me. That should be the place where we negotiate the community of our pain; the ultimate truth for each of us.


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