Dealing With the Big and Small Things in Life

You will always come upon difficulties throughout your life. Learning how to put those hardships in perspective is key.


Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Emotions strongly effect how you put your problems in perspective.

My mom’s arm during one of her infusions for her autoimmune disease, Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Everyone has good days and bad days. Some days may be worse than others, yet, life goes on. It can be hard for many people to see what the big and little things are in life. Sometimes, a person hasn’t truly experienced a major hardship in their life so it’s difficult for them to understand that their bumps in the road are nowhere near as difficult as others’ problems. Learning how to put your issues in perspective is a major part of growing up and understanding others.


Something I used to have trouble dealing with was school. I would over-work and over-stress myself to the point where I was making myself miserable because I felt I needed to have straight “A”s. If I ever did poorly on a quiz, test, or a class in general, it felt like it was the end of the world to me or almost as though I failed myself. Now, after seeing and learning how kids in less developed countries don’t have the ability to receive an education, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to go to school. Failing a test on a scale of one to ten is a “one.” Whereas not having an education is a “ten.” What seemed like something so big to me turned out to be so little. I talked with my mother about hardships in her life and we began speaking about the autoimmune disease she has. She told me how she has put her problem in perspective. “When I first learned that I had this autoimmune disease that could potentially lead to my inability to walk again, I was devastated. It was extremely difficult to picture myself in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. But when I heard of a young kid who had been dealing with terminal cancer for years, suddenly, my problem seemed insignificant.” This realization helped my mom to see how blessed she is to have this condition in comparison to others.

Deciding what situations in your life are major or minor can be difficult at times. Sometimes emotions play into your reaction and response. These emotions can influence how you see a problem leading you to possibly make a rash interpretation. Some people are more emotional than others which leads them to see almost any difficulty they face as serious. When in most cases, it really isn’t as big of a deal as they are making it out to be. I talked to Linda Van Kirk, my grandma, about her thoughts on the impact of emotions on someone’s mental stability to think rationally. “In high school, your uncle’s friend, whose girlfriend had just broken up with him, was in such despair that he killed himself. This temporary feeling he had lead him to make a permanent decision that ultimately hurt many people.” This very sad situation is unfortunately not uncommon with teens and young adults struggling to handle their emotions and seeing something small in their life as something big. In my opinion, the best way to calm your emotions down is by looking over your shoulder at someone else’s hardship to help put your own struggle in perspective.

A child crying after falling and scraping his knee.

When a small child falls down and scrapes their knee, they cry almost as if they’re dying. As you grow older, you tend not to sweat the small stuff like a scraped knee. However, looking through a child’s eyes, you can see how that might be a big deal to them. Understanding how other people are impacted by situations that may not affect you in the same way can help them see that these emotions will eventually calm down. I asked Jeff Dalton, my dad, about an experience he’s had that would help him to help someone else. “My friend texted me not too long ago saying his dog had just passed away and how difficult it was for him to deal with this loss. Many years ago I had lost a dog and can remember how devastated I was when it first happened. Now as years have passed, it has gotten easier to let go which allowed me to help my friend through his loss by understanding the pain he was experiencing at that time.” To be able to recognize and relate to what someone else is going through based on your past experiences can truly help that person to see that things will get better. 

As you go through life and have more experiences, you can learn to put things in perspective. This will help not only you, but your ability to help others to deal with both the big and small events in life.