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The hardest thing about life is living it.

It’s easy to look at life’s little hurdles and respond with something trite, like “It could be worse,” or “You could have brain cancer.” The thing is: those things are true; it could be worse, you could have brain cancer… and sometimes you do. Sometimes the bump in the road is minor in comparison to the chasm ahead, but that doesn’t mean the minor issue doesn’t matter.

It does. It adds to the depth of the well you find yourself in. It doesn’t make it any easier to maintain perspective; in a way, it just adds to the tide of despair.

Sure, it’s easier to handle those little mishaps when you have something giant on the horizon; when you have a broken leg, a chipped nail isn’t that big of a deal.

Especially from the perspective of others.

That chipped nail, though, might be the thing that’s holding you together. Who can say? That one little glitch might be enough to erode hope and future.

Encourage others, when you can. Until you’ve really walked in their shoes – and not just seen their feet and thought, “Okay, I might have been there” – they need as much of your help as you are able to offer. Pay it forward; some day, you may need them the same way they need you.

(And in the end, sadly, the response still becomes “c’est la vie.”)

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