Because we are sinful, our minds tend to drift toward comparison. If you have a house, you tend to compare your house to someone else’s. If you take a vacation, you tend to compare your vacation to someone else’s. Clothing, restaurant choices, vehicles – these are all sources for comparison. And so is our suffering. Along with everything else, we tend to compare our suffering to the suffering of another.
Is there anything that the entire human race has in common?
We were raised with different values and different expectations. We have all had different experiences which color and shape the way in which we view the world. Even now, we are all walking through different stages of life each particular to our own set of circumstances, and interpreting those life experiences differently. Even in a homogenous group, there are still vast differences.
Of course, the more you break into relationships with people who don’t necessarily look like you, earn like you, or talk like you, the differences become all the most visible and apparent. So again the question – is there anything we all have in common?
There is at least this – pain. We all have that in common. Pain is the common denominator of humanity. If you doubt it’s true, consider with me the mental image of a hospital waiting room.
Most people have been in one at one time or another—waiting because your appendix is bursting, waiting because your kid has a gash that needs to be sewn up, waiting because a friend has been in surgery and you are holding vigil for her recovery. You wait. You wait alongside the smell of stale coffee, of Maury Povich on the hanging television set with the “Do not change channel” sign on it, of the pacing, bleary-eyed occupants clamoring for a doctor’s update.