There is a lovely old saying that if all the problems in the world were put in a single pile, and every person was told to take an equal share, most people would be happy to stick with what they have. Its a positive way of being grateful for small mercies.
There’s no denying that some people face genuine problems: big, scary, horrible, life-altering or life-threatening problems. Its the other sort of problems on which I’ve been musing. The sort that get our teeth on edge. The sort that makes us fume and stamp our feet (even metaphorically). The sort of problems that originated the saying “to tear one’s hair out”.
The public announcement of the Homo naledi find this past week got me thinking about the problems that were around back then. And the problems of everyday people say 2,000 years ago. And the everyday problems of the 1950’s. What about last week? Actually, I can’t remember.
And there’s a more fortifying yardstick perhaps than our usual list of daily woes: if my ‘problem’ is so thoroughly ‘pro tem’, then it should probably receive a bucketful less of my energy.