The following was originally written on May 25, 2005.

"Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others." -- Dr. M. Scott Peck

I was sitting in class the other day, when our teacher started to give us information on scholarship oppurtunities. Now I usually don't listen to these but one particularly grabbed my attention. The contributors called for the students interested to write a paper or essay on the hardships they've faced. They wanted to pick students whom they feel showed integrity while facing difficulties in life. These students would get the scholarship.

Now I thought about it for a little bit and I realized I had no hardships that I was forced to overcome with integrity. But then I thought harder and came to the fact that I had hardships to overcome, but these "hardships" paled in comparison to what other students must overcome. And to my dismay, some people were actually interested in it, as if they're backround from a humble farm town would actually produce significant difficulties for them to overcome. This one scholarship information got me to think deeper than ever before!

I came to the conclusion that everyone, at least around my hometown, believes that they have it the "hardest." They believe that the world has gone out of it's way to destroy their lives, that somehow they are the only ones to have faced difficulties, challenges, and hardships. I've seen this concept in action at school (now being a teenager it may just be that I see other teenagers going through the "rebel" phase). I've seen many an argument over who has to work more hours and who has juggle more work with more homework and sports and such. I've even heard an argument over whose loss in the family was more sad.

These phrases usually come in a form like this, "Well I still have to go to my second job!" This usually comes after person A becomes relieved at the end of a workshift. Or, "Well I didn't get very much sleep last night." And these statements are blatantly trying to show the other person that person B has got it much worse. It seems to me that some people turn it into a competition to show everyone else how bad they got it.

Another example is songs these days talk about how they walk alone and no one faces the troubles they face. Well I have reached a point where I realized that I haven't got it bad at all. I had a good, fun childhood. I get food when I need it, I have a place to sleep, and good friends. I've realized that everyone faces harships and that no one is immune to them, and they all come in their own forms.

These competitive saps also seem to be ones that are jealous once they see someone who enjoys his job, or an activity that they do not. They do not seem to notice that they are doing this to themselves. The world will always send problems your way, some get more than others, but it's up to you to decide how you percieve these problems.

Granted, their are some people out there who do face true hardships and with integrity, but these people will rarely talk about them because they don't want to burden others with their problems. Instead, they decide to keep a smile on their face and take things as they come.

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