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  • Aryeh Brickner

You think YOU have it rough!



An updated take on an old concept…


I am an 86-year-old widowed grandmother. My children are spread across the country and I am stuck at home, scared to death of going out. I used to lead a vibrant life running around morning till evening. but now I just sit here and wait for the phone to ring and possibly just waiting to die.


You think you have it rough!


I am home with my four kids playing daddy, teacher, and referee. I cook, clean, and do all the laundry. Where is my wife? She’s spending long hours at the hospital treating COVID-19 patients, while I am spending every spare moment praying for her safety.


You think you have it rough!


Our house is filled with the sounds of silence. We have been undergoing fertility treatment for over three years, and still no pregnancies. Now our treatments are on hold for the foreseeable future. You all complain about having to deal with your kids, try not having to deal with any.


You think you have it rough!


We are home with our children and have plenty of spare time since both of us were laid off. Unemployment is nice but it doesn’t come close to covering our regular salaries. All these parents complaining about juggling school and work make my blood boil.


You think you have it rough!


I am a 16-year-old prisoner in my own home. My dad is so “successful” that my mother doesn’t have to work, meaning she can micromanage my entire day. While all my friends are watching TV and Face Timing, I am neck-deep in math and biology, so I’ll be ready when school starts up again. Aaaagghhhh!


You think you have it rough!


I died, alone, with no family members around. Three months ago I was contemplating retirement, and conjuring up creative ways to spoil my grandchildren. I had to wait over a week to get buried.


You think you have it rough!


I am a divorced father of two whose ex-wife wife thinks social distancing is a recommendation. Every time I drop my kids off at her house, we end up arguing about what precautions they should be taking. Imagine having to live in fear that you are jeopardizing the lives of your own children.


You think you have it rough!


We are at home with a special needs child. Many special needs children, including ours, can’t learn remotely or do any of their physical exercise activities on their own. There’s no such thing as a work-life balance while quarantined at home with a special needs child. I can only chuckle, when I hear parents say, “What’s the problem, just plop them down in front of the television to get some work done”.


You think you have it rough!


My (insert family member’s name) died this week. No goodbyes, no hand-holding, and no warning. I buried them via FaceTime because I wasn’t allowed to go to the cemetery.

You think you have it rough!


I am single and living 2,000 miles away from my family. I live alone and most of my work is done with limited human interaction. Sometimes people call me to say hello, but I am not entertaining enough to warrant additional calls. “You’re so lucky, you watch Netflix all day” I want to punch these people through my computer screen!


Can we ever quantify someone else’s suffering? Empathy is not about comparisons, it’s about an understanding of what someone else is experiencing. With so much pain in the world today, let’s use this time to hone our empathy muscles. Give someone your absolute undivided attention and focus on their situation without providing comparisons to the suffering of others. Their pain is important to them and they should feel and understand that it is important to you. Let’s be as compassionate as possible during Covid-19, and then use that compassion to create an even better world when once again, we all emerge from our homes.


Aryeh is the author of: “The Office is no Place for a Cattle Rancher! How to Practice Empathetic and Mindful Management” available on Amazon!

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