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Change Starts Small, And First And Foremost, With You

Everyone deserves the right to have feelings, societal privilege or not.

Sana Rahman

"I'm fine. Other people have it so much worse than I do. I have no right to be struggling over this."

This is a thought that has probably crossed your mind once or twice given that you have the privilege of reading an Odyssey article on your own personal electronic device. Yes, it is important to recognize the fact that you are privileged above someone else. However, it is also important to realize that there is so much more that goes into being a person other than their societal privilege.

It's not uncommon for your average Joe to feel terrible about things completely out of their immediate control. Helplessness is a feeling that most all of us have experienced in a world such as this where crises are occurring all around the globe. It's difficult to focus on one insurmountable problem and find a cohesive solution. That doesn't mean that you leave your own problems on the back burner where they could possibly burst into flames.

The first thing to do is to realize the problems are within your reach, problems that affect you directly. Once you can assess how to address these problems either in your personal life or in your community you can work on making broader, more visible change all around the world. Then perhaps you wouldn't feel quite so terrible if you're actually out there making a difference.

Before you can go out saving the world, however, it is imperative that you focus on yourself first. No matter how many people may be struggling, if you cannot bring yourself either physically or mentally to address their issues then you are doing no good at all. Once you take care of yourself there is no limit to how much you can truly accomplish.

You can't have yourself hold back your sadness because others have it worse, just like you can't hold back being happy because someone may have it better. Comparing the quality of your life to that of someone else's is really just an endless cycle of misery. If you focus purely on what you have to do to make an impact on the world it will be well worth it. Once you stop comparing, what must be accomplished becomes much clearer than before.

Happiness and sadness are not choices, unfortunately, they just come out when the situation arises. Though sometimes it may feel like you have to choose one over the other given the circumstances and how others are feeling, work through your emotions. Be happy at a small accomplishment, dwell on sadness, get better and keep moving forward.

There is only one way I know that ensures that I take care of myself, as I can be known for letting my personal life catch fire on the back burner. That is to simply take a few minutes, wake up a little earlier than you would like and just kind of exist for a little. Sure the world sucks and it could be doing a whole hell of a lot better, but at least you're alive and there are countless people all around you that could use a helping hand.

I know it sounds abnormally cheesy, but change starts small, and first and foremost, with you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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