So which friend has it worse? The woman who wakes up every night with nightmares because she is still grieving for the daughter who was killed when the World Trade Center came down? Or the woman who is struggling to care for her dying father, even though he was abusive to her as a child?
Who has it worse? The friend who has just moved to a strange city and knows absolutely no one, who spends her weekends at the office, doing paperwork by herself? Or the friend who just had twins, both with birth defects, and hasn't slept for more than three hours in a row in weeks?
When I lived in London, a friend taught me this pub game in which each person would tell their saddest story, competing to be the sorriest sod in the group. The game was hilariously funny. Maybe the humor came from the fact that we'd all been drinking all night. Or maybe it came from the absolute absurdity of thinking that we could possibly put such things as stress, anxiety, or grief on a measurable scale.
Life in this culture in this century is difficult for just about everyone. So many of the people in this blog community live far from family and friends, with all kind of societal pressures on them.
My gut feeling about all this : when you are on a ship that has sprung a whole bunch of leaks, water pouring in everywhere, it doesn't make sense to stand around and argue whose feet are getting the wettest.
Stop fighting everyone! Just grab the buckets. And start bailing.