Today I’m going to be talking about one of the things I have struggled with and still struggle with: guilt. And this is not the type of guilt where I did something bad and it’s eating me up. The problem is I feel guilty but I’m not sure if I should be guilty. Confusing, right? Well I’ll explain.
So I was born into a middle-class family. My parents work so hard – yes, I said work because they are still working even at this point in their lives because we know how Nigeria is right now (rant for another day). Anyway, my parents have always made sure that I have what I need and a lot of times what I want. I have never really lacked anything, you know? But like every other human being, I have wishes, things I want to happen for me. I get inconvenienced too and I experience challenges. So like most people, I complain and when I do I am met with several voices: most from my family and one in my head saying ‘you should be grateful. Things could be worse’. If I’m honest, when I hear that I mumble to myself ‘well, things could be better too’. But then on my way to work, I see people on the streets that are doing much worse. Then I find myself in this weird uncomfortable place. Are my difficulties invalid because I am better off than some people? Should I not want more out of life because I should be content with what I have now?
So like I said at the beginning, I am still grappling with these questions but I think I got some answers this week. I’ll share the instances and then share the underlying key thing that I drew from them. First, at bible study this week, this topic came up indirectly. Our pastor explained that we are all from different walks of life and our journey is our own. Just because you did not experience homelessness or hunger at some point in your life that doesn’t make the struggles you went through invalid. Second, my uncle visited and he was talking to me because I was finally taking a decision that I had put off severally partly because of this issue. Before he left our house he said to me ‘this decision doesn’t make you a bad person. We cannot exactly change the world but we can play our parts in the grand scheme of things.’ Basically he was telling me ‘don’t feel guilty’. Does it mean I should complain all the time? No. I, in fact, need to be better about counting my blessings and being content. I should strive for better but always bear in mind that everything I already have is a blessing and to bottomline it, I shouldn’t take that for granted. Right?
What do you guys think? Have you experienced this guilt? Share your thoughts 🙂