Today, my professor asked us to write down three things that bother us, and we shared our responses to get to know each other.

Even though this was an exercise, it gave me an idea – and now, I am going to try to encourage you guys look at life in a whole new light.

Before you start reading this, write down three things that bother you.

I asked ten people this question and these were the responses:

Person #1: “All these people and how they can’t drive, my roommates bf is over all the time and he is in his boxers all the time. He’s walking around like he owns the place in his underwear, and when the toilet paper is on the wrong way on the dispenser lol.”

Person #2: “Contracts for my career, a very close friend of mine was just tested positive for HIV because the guy wasn’t honest with her, and that I have a whole family depending on me.”

Person #3: “The italian accent of my lecturer because I cant understand him, people who walk slow on their way to class and the finger prints on my laptop screen.”

Person #4: “How am I going to get around? I was in an accident with a drunk driver and I can’t get around without my roller and my parents always have to drive me so I feel bad. Tuition is always going up and I hate worrying about loans and stuff.”

Person #5: “Financial issues not allowing happiness, because money is so tight and just seeing families fall apart (arguing everyday saying I don’t have money) because they cant make or are barely making it by. Just not being able to do what you can because ‘i dont have the money right now, due to all my bills,loans etc.,’ love, and not being able to get the job you went to school for.”

Person #6: “I hate school. I’m only in it because I lost my job, my home, everything because I was a victim of Hurricane Katrina. It was so bad that I had to go through FEMA and now I am in Chicago with my child trying to get by. The tuition is always going up and it’s so competitive.”

Person #7: “How lazy people are…how they talk about how they want this and that and things to get done, but never take any initiative to actually do it or help it, being in Iraq and how it’s just work/driving around 12 hours a day, working out and doing the same thing all over again, its infested with army folks here so I stick out like a sore thumb.”

Person #8: “My parents divorce and how they’re trying to hide it from me because they think it will hurt me, my annoying roommate and my bills.”

Person #9: “My co-workers because she’s the worst nurse ever, paying for bills and guys.”

Person #10: “I just found out my aunt has cancer and I already lost an aunt to cancer so I am afraid of that, my future like knowing if i’ll be successful or not and finding the right guy after so many failed attempts.”

The reason I posted all these responses is because I wanted everyone to realize how we fail to see the bigger picture [I purposely mixed up the little things like guys and big things like losing everything because of the hurricane so you could all understand that], to show how our society is so self-absorbed and how we take things in life for granted. We’re so caught up with the things we don’t have, and don’t realize how much we do have.

Not one of the ten answers I got were us being bothered by the fact that there are ugly things going on in this world we live in. Nothing about those who are unfortunate, crimes, deaths, child abuse, rape, war etc. They were all about us.

I understand that I asked quickly, and the first instinct was to think about ourselves at that very moment – my answers were CTA’s, credit cards and stubborn people.. but whether it was off the top of your head or giving you ten minutes to think, would you really have put things that were not relevant to you, your life, and your struggles? Probably not.

This makes me wonder… are our hearts and minds in the right place? We’re constantly complaining about things that we shouldn’t be complaining about, and we fail to realize that it could always be worse.

We are all fighting our own battles so stop letting the little things bother you, stop being selfish and appreciate what you are given in life – both good and bad, because there is someone, somewhere, who would do anything to be in your shoes.