Think about your favourite food. What’s something that didn’t taste as good as that? Is there anything you think would taste better if you tried it?
If someone else has eaten all the same foods as you (perhaps a sibling), does that mean they will 100% agree with your preferences? No, because their personal tastes might be different. If your favourite food is carbonara and you hate spicy food, does that make someone who enjoys spicy food incorrect? Does it mean that they don’t know what it means to enjoy food? Of course not, it’s all relative.
As a teenager, I have been told “You don’t know what real stress is. You couldn’t understand it because you’re just a teenager. You don’t know anything yet”. I think they’d forgotten what it was like to be a teenager themselves. It can be easy to do, I don’t blame them but I wish they’d thought a little more before they spoke. Were they trying to scare me? No matter how trivial my worst experience was to them, to me it was my worst because I‘d never had worse. Did they think that by telling me that my troubles weren’t that bad, it would make them not bad? I can’t change my past experience, so my worst will remain my worst until I come across something harder. It is impossible for anything to be worse than the worst. Put simply, it’s an end point of a spectrum. If something else is beyond it, then it isn’t the end point anymore.
It is impossible to think of something as ultimately the worst, it can only be considered as the worst so far. If you can imagine one thing worse than another, then the first thing obviously wasn’t the worst. So by saying that there is worse to come, you’re saying there is something worse than I can possibly imagine ahead of me. In what circumstance could this be considered kind? “You will go through something so terrible that you can’t even understand it yet”. That’s an awful thing to say; now I’m being driven mad by trying to think of something so bad that I can’t think of it. It’s like trying to find the end of a circle. This isn’t limited to negative experience, it goes for positive emotions too. A married couple saying to an unmarried couple that they don’t know what love is yet. New parents saying to newlyweds that they don’t know love. A widow saying to parents that they don’t know true love. It can go on forever, because it’s all relative to each person’s own experience.
Everything you know is relative to your own experiences. So stop judging things you can’t relate to. If you are not that person, don’t judge their actions because there is no way you can know everything that led them there. Stop devaluing other people’s experiences because they’re not your own. You can’t know how something feels unless you experience it yourself. Even then, it still won’t be exactly the same as another person. If someone tells you they are hurt, happy, sad or joyful, don’t try to measure it, disprove it or negate it! Just take their word for it, the only person who knows exactly how they feel is themselves and God. Last time I checked, you are not God. So stop pretending you have a universal instruction book of absolute measurements. It’s all relative.