Importance is personal, not universal

We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some canoes and some are drowning. Just be kind and help whoever you can”.

People are swamped by an array of troubles! To borrow a popular Setswana saying that my late dad used frequently: Ga gona ntlo e sa neleng – (Every house is penetrated by rain water). Figuratively, this saying means that each household has its own problems! In some sphere of people’s lives if not multiple spheres of their lives, life is showing them flames! However, our problems are not always the same…and even when we are facing the same problem, it affects us differently.

Indeed, “none but the wearer knows where the shoe pinches”.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I get ashamed of not being concerned/moved by issues that bother other people especially when it is serious issues. I feel less human, ignorant and to a certain degree, guilty because in certain cases, my disinterest stems from privilege – It doesn’t affect me so why should I care. Don’t I have enough to deal with already?

But if we were to be honest though…if you were to suspend your leap onto that high horse for a minute…isn’t this just life though? Isn’t it just human nature for certain problems to bother you more than others do?

It is plausible to conclude that we all use different scales and levels in deciding what is important. For instance, regardless of how lazy and tired I am, I will stand up to fetch the television remote to change the channel to avoid most South African insurance advertisements. Perhaps that is a frivolous example but it brings forth the reality that situations and the level of importance assigned to those situations differ.  

With so much going on in people’s lives, the prudent decision of what is important and not might form part of peoples’ positive defense mechanisms – it might be their way of protecting their sanity. It might be their way of ensuring they don’t become overwhelmed. As someone who get anxious easily and who suffers from self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, I continue to consciously decide which issues to attach importance to and which level of importance these issues deserve.

Much to the dismay of some interlocutors, I have become indifferent to things that continue to get them hot under the collar.

“Lorato, how can this not bother you?”

Well…”it just does not or does not bother me enough yet”.

We need to stop being judge-arig – we all have different crosses to bear!

Alternatively, you can jump on that high horse now!