How truly petty my problems are

Barry Currin
Posted 3/9/18

I woke up yesterday morning feeling about as tired as I did when I went to bed the night before.The same thing happened most days over the past week.My mind has been in a whirlwind lately with a …

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How truly petty my problems are


I woke up yesterday morning feeling about as tired as I did when I went to bed the night before.

The same thing happened most days over the past week.

My mind has been in a whirlwind lately with a variety of preoccupations — lots of new aggravations and frustrations, along with some oldies but goodies that use my brain like a vacation home.

And for some reason 2 a.m. is when the space between my ears thinks I should start thinking about everything all at once.

Throw in a couple of world problems I figure I can solve, and I become the general manager of the universe for the graveyard shift.

Yesterday ended up taking a different turn, however. When it did, I was forced to take a long, hard look at myself; and I quickly realized how little some of my problems mattered.

That’s because yesterday I learned something troubling about someone I admire and respect.

This person has endured some mysterious health issues for a few months now. Yesterday I found out his condition has progressed to the point to where he is being forced to quit his job while the doctors try and find out what is going on inside him.

This is an extraordinary young man I am talking about. He is much younger than I am. He is a man of God. He is a thinker. He is both a servant and a leader with a beautiful family Norman Rockwell never would’ve dared to attempt to capture.

For the record, I have complete and total faith this is only a temporary condition he must endure. That’s big coming from me because faith is not my strong suit as is evidenced by the opening half of this column. But I believe it.

As I heard more and more about his situation, the smaller I felt.

I spent the rest of yesterday consumed by what he and his family are going through.

This gave me pause to look at myself. I spent plenty of time proverbially kicking myself in the rump for the pitiful outlook I can sometimes have when everything in my life isn’t 100 percent rosy, which is what I seem to expect.

Yesterday, I tossed each of my problems out of my head one-by-one by saying either “so what” if such-and-such happens, or “so what” if it doesn’t.

With the proper motivation, that’s an easy thing to do. And yesterday — as unfortunate as it was — I had the proper motivation with plenty to spare.

Back when I was Mama’s overnight caregiver, I vowed never to take another moment for granted. Yesterday, I saw again how wasting time worrying about the types of things I was worrying about is as big of a waste of time as anything can be.

Of course, I know me. I know full well all my little annoyances will come crawling back into my head soon enough, like horror movie villains that can never be vanquished for good.

I also know that when they do, I am going to use my friend’s story as inspiration to do a better job at keeping things in perspective.


(About the writer: Barry Currin is founder and president of White Oak Advertising and Public Relations, based in Cleveland. “Stories of a World Gone Mad” is published weekly. Email the writer at


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