Everyone has issues. This is a fact of life.
Whether they’re personal quandaries or problems of a worldly nature, everybody has their own. The significance will differ from person to person but to the individual in question, of course, their issues are by far the most serious…
Take a wealthy family from an opulent Auckland suburb: the father’s biggest concern is ensuring the success of a business deal in the Japanese fish market while still having time for golf on Fridays; the son is despairing because he feels that he is invisible in the eyes of a girl he fancies at school.
To father and son, these issues are all consuming.
Conversely, take a family who are in a constant struggle for financial stability. The father works 16 hour days just to meet costs and is worried by talk of a company take-over, leading to inevitable job losses. Bereft of a steady income he will not be able to continue funding his daughter’s overseas schooling. The daughter, understanding the importance of education; also how hard her father is working to give her just that, is obliged to ignore any distractions, forego a social life and immerse herself in her schoolwork.
Father and daughter struggle under issues resulting from their hectic lifestyles.
So which pair has the most substantial issues? The company man stressed about pushing through a big corporate deal, and his besotted son; or the hard working labourer fearful that his job could be in jeopardy, and his devoted daughter..?
It comes down to perspective. The company man believes that his issues are of the utmost consequence because that’s what he knows – big business is all he knows. He understands what it is to lose a deal of this nature and to miss out on Friday afternoon golf would be a similar injustice. His son has always had everything his own way and is powerless to comprehend what it is to not have something he wants – to this boy missing out on an opportunity with a girl is tantamount to a month of bad hair days.
The labourer believes that his issues are of such magnitude because to him the future prosperity of his daughter is paramount; the daughter knows that her father feels this way so is beholden to reciprocate the effort.
The reason that everyone has issues is simple: as people, we tend to place our single greatest concern at the fore of our minds, thus forming an issue.
To a person with multiple worries everything else is supplanted by the big one, rendering their other concerns less terrible by comparison. To somebody with few or no worries, they find something to fill that foremost spot then regardless of substance, consider it their biggest concern.
We secretly love it. We need it. It stimulates that subconscious part of our brain which yearns for disharmony. It occupies our minds, gives us something to think – something to worry about.
When the company man receives word of the success of his deal he sets down his five-iron and promptly makes a call; as per the plan, he cuts by half the employment base of his new company and relaxes, satisfied that all his worries have finally come to a close.
When the labourer turns up at work only to be told there is no longer a job for him, he reluctantly makes a call pulling his daughter from her offshore schooling; conceding that although she won’t receive the private education he had desired for her, there’s nothing he can do about it so he might as well accept these new circumstances.
When the boy arrives at school the next day to discover that the object of his affections has returned to her home country he is first shocked, then devastated, then angry.
When the girl is informed that her father has organised her immediate passage back to Japan, initial disappointment at a premature end to the school year soon gives way to relief at having so much pressure relieved.
A week later the boy is still feeling indignant at the way things turned out with his Japanese sweetheart, and being the spoilt little problem child he was brought up to be, is ensuring that everybody feels the full force of his maelstrom.
A week later the girl is glad to be home with her oddly relaxed father, who is in talks with a local public school to allow her to finish the year’s curriculum in Japan.
A week later the company man is still weathering the tempest from a hostile little rapscallion who is doing everything he can to make life a living hell for everyone.
A week later the labourer is pleased to have his daughter home and has found a less oppressing, significantly lower paying job as a janitor at his daughter’s prospective new school.
Interesting how things work out.
The labourer is still impoverished as he always was, yet is rather more content than the company man with a seven digit salary. The daughter is just happy to be back with her father while the son, having never been taught the sanctity of sacrifice, is frustrated at the way life has treated him thus far and as the years pass, will assuredly become less satisfied.
Most regular folk would argue that really, the company man and his son didn’t have issues in the first place and now, well, they still don’t.
I think the well-to-do duo would disagree.
Those same good hearted people would no doubt take pity on the labourer and his daughter maintaining they didn’t deserve the issues they had in the beginning, and would have been glad when things improved for them…
Realistically, that little Japanese man thrived on his 16 hour days at the fish works; after all, he had nothing else. Truth be told, his issues, he was lovelorn. As for the daughter, she had frightfully low self esteem. She felt as though she was constantly underachieving. The company man and his narcissistic personality disorder was always an awkward fit in their household, given his son’s sense of entitlement and propensity for tantrums.
As earlier stated, everyone has issues. It doesn’t matter how trivial; doesn’t matter if everybody thinks they’re nothing – as the brain perceiving the issue, if that’s all the issue there is, that issue will be there at the fore. People need to have issues.
Issues keep us grounded. Issues keep us real. Our issues complete us.
Article by Mit Reklaw
Edited by Percy Eve
Photography by Ash Hugh