ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Another of Five Epiphanies

Updated on August 7, 2011
Haiti earthquake
Haiti earthquake | Source
Katrina New Orleans flooding
Katrina New Orleans flooding | Source

Epiphany #2: There's always someone worse off.

So there was a second epiphany, which is really the first epiphany because it did come to me a long time ago, but this small series of hubs is pretty much written as a stream of consciousness and the epiphanies are coming out in the order I remember them. Sorry about that, but it's just the way I write.

But back to the epiphany. Epiphany #2: there is always someone worse off. It's an obvious one, but it's an easily forgotten one. It used to be that I would probably only think about people in real poverty, living in real horrifically poor and/or dangerous conditions, perhaps only once a year or once every two years when I watched Comic Relief or another telethon. We've all seen pictures of children scavenging for scraps in landfill sites, orphans who are themselves dying of Aids, child carers, victims of so many kinds of abuse. I could create a list the size of a large hub of the people who are less well off than me, of people who have real reason to feel sorry for themselves but very often don't. But possibly when my children grew to be old enough to start to refuse the food I put in front of them I think that something in my mind became a little bit enlightened, or at least learned how to be mindful. I just could not stand for my children to waste food when other children have nothing. Okay, so this is a bit of a blow-my-own-trumpet epiphany: look how marvellous I am that I think of people worse off than myself! Well, let's not get carried away here, I'm not so saintly, I don't give 10% of my earnings to charity, I don't get involved with charities on a useful level. I use this epiphany selfishly, to make myself happier, and I use it to remind myself of how lucky I am to be wanting for nothing. Oh, there are things that I want, but that's not the same thing.

Well, so, reminding myself of people who are worse off is a good way to make me give myself a shake, and stick a smile back on my face. The smile soon becomes a genuine one when I am honest with myself and take a minute to count my blessings, as it were. It's about noticing the positives in my life, as much as acknowledging the hardships in someone else's. We have a tendency, in the West I might suppose, to add up the bad stuff, pile it up, look at it, worry about the size of it, compare it to someone else's pile of bad stuff, stress about the seeming impossibility of overcoming it. But quite often, and I can't speak for everyone of course, if we took the same time to stack up the positives we would quickly find that that pile would be much bigger than the pile of negatives. When you realise that there's more to smile about than there is to cry about it stands to reason that you need to spend more time smiling. Save the tears for people who really need them - which is no-one, because tears don't really solve anything.

Cancer came into my family's life this year. We have all had to watch my mum go through the treatment, as you will know if you've read my hubs on the subject, What I Feel Like Today. It might be at times like this that it's difficult to imagine people being worse off than the person suffering. But it has never entered our heads to feel sorry for ourselves (my mum has felt sorry for herself in chemo weeks, quite rightly!), because we could still see that there are people who are worse off in the world - we still had so much to smile about: the fact that my mum's prognosis was good, and that she was strong enough to fight her cancer, and that she is still alive and kicking now. We've laughed and smiled and been glad all the way through it (apart from those chemo weeks!). We've all had support, because we've all supported each other - people endure cancer alone, so we've been lucky.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)