The struggle is real.
Ever heard someone say or read someone’s social post saying “The struggle is real”? If not, it’s fairly self-explanatory. Something someone is going through is a struggle. It’s challenging. Or, it’s frustrating. Or….well, it’s just a struggle.
According to the site Know Your Meme, “the origin of the phrase…is unknown”. The saying populates posts all across social media. FWIW (for what it’s worth), there’s even a Facebook page called The Struggle Is Real.
No posts since 2016, so the struggle must still be real.
The saying, while making for a popular meme, is interchangeably used in both serious and sarcastic sentiments. As several blogs and posts point out, it can be a variation of the idea #firstworldproblems (first-world problems).
That’s the way I tend to lean when I use it. Sarcasm.
Something I baked/cooked didn’t turn out right. My team didn’t win. I’m sore after a looooong workout. It’s hot in the house and there’s no air conditioning. I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before and I’m falling asleep at my computer.
The struggle is real (sarcastic voice).
See? First world problems alright.
Memes are easy to create. Find a photo of someone, add a funny caption and share it with the world.
More often than not, that photo is of someone else – no selfies, here – be it a tv show, a sporting event, a wedding, a concert or even a local event. It’s all meant to be in fun, but sometimes it delves into mockery of another person.
One person’s meme is another person’s struggle, if you will.
I’ve thought about that concept – mocking someone else – for quite awhile now. To be honest, I’ve felt guilty. Guilty for being one who mocks someone else or laughs at their struggle.
As if laughing at others somehow makes me feel better. About me. About my life.
I know, I know. I can hear it now – Lighten up, Sunny. It’s just all in fun. Yes, it’s all in fun until someone gets hurt.
In today’s social media world, even with live-streaming and group chats, we don’t always see the hurt people feel after others laugh at them. We don’t always see the pain we cause with our mocking.
One person starts it. They share it with their connections, who share it with their connections and so on. It spreads. And if it’s picked up by one influential person…well…it spreads like a virus.
Toward one, single person.
All of that mocking, sarcasm, joking at another’s expense? My friends, that’s today’s version of bullying.
So why do we continue to do it? Does it really make us feel better about life? Belittle someone else, either directly or indirectly, in order to exalt our own self worth.
That type of feeling lasts only a moment. But, the result(s) it produces? Each person is different, but the pain can run deep and last a lifetime.
Makes the struggle all to real, doesn’t it?
I wish I could say that I’ll never do it again. But, I know me. I know how important laughter is in my life. I know how much I have allowed sarcasm to become part of my normal conversation. But, I have to start somewhere.
Maybe that’s what this post is all about. A personal challenge to me. To seek to encourage instead of mock with my words. Who couldn’t use more encouragement?
It’s not just a first-world problem.
Call it a REAL world problem.