We numb our pain because we've lost perspective

Life is hard no matter how you slice it. There is a constant grind to get more, do more, be better, offer more to your family, do the best by people. It's hard to keep up and everyone has coping methods. Some drink, some run, some read or watch TV. Others (like me) do all of the above.

But I have this theory that the only time we really seek to deaden our pain or escape from reality is when we have lost perspective. When our problems (however big or small) are the biggest problems in the world, we have to run or drink to deal with them. If, like me, your "big problems" are the stresses of your very stable job, you've probably lost perspective.

When your eyes are truly open to how many people struggle to put food on the table, to pay rent, to just keep their children alive... when you see how many people come home to a unsafe place and live in constant fear.... when you see people without any hope in this life or the next—when you see these things all around you it's much easier to relax after a long day and be thankful for what you have. It's much easier, with real perspective, to be comfortable with your pain and not feel the need to numb it.

That's part of the reason suburban America is so difficult, it's nearly impossible to leave your bubble and maintain perspective because everyone around you has it approximately the same as you. What you see is the people who have it better, because seemingly no one has it enough worse to snap you back to reality. There are hurting people around you. Even in suburban America. But if you're not careful, you'll forget them and begin to think you're the one hurting the most—when chances are high you've simply lost perspective.