In 1957, when Melba Pattillo Beals was 15 years old, she and eight other students volunteered to be the first African Americans to integrate all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. For months, she and her cohorts were spat upon, beat up, and threatened with death by bigots. Her grandmother stayed awake all night holding a loaded shotgun, guarding the family home against assaults. Years later Beals wrote Warriors Don't Cry, a memoir of that traumatic time. I have a psychotherapist friend in Seattle who gives copies of this book to certain clients who are inclined to inflate their own suffering. "Read about Beals' ordeal," she tells them, "and you'll feel less overwhelmed by your own problems." That's your assignment, Gemini. Study people whose lot in life is far worse than yours. Get some perspective.
Fair enough. I actually feel quite good about my lot in life lately. Maybe not for me this week.