From the Troubles and Misfortunes of Others When facing a challenge, major setback or plain bad luck we employ coping techniques instinctively or by design. Two of these techniques bring me the desired solace but that is often followed by a niggling feeling later that I committed a wrong. Let’s call them the "at least" and "count your blessings" techniques. The "at least" With the "at least" technique, we resort to comparing our misfortune with one that befalls another person. The team loses a match, and later in the locker room, the coach and players take comfort from the fact that another higher ranked team suffered a worse and more humiliating defeat. A child is diagnosed with a major but not life-threatening illness and the parents confess to each other in the privacy of their home at dinnertime, "At least we are better off than our friends abc whose child struggles with xyz." The couple goes on to finish dinner a little more at ease with their kismet and might later even feel like watching some Netflix. A company freezes salary raises and the disheartened employee sitting at her desk in a late afternoon break thinks to herself, "At least I have not been sitting unemployed for two and a half years like xyz has been." In the above examples of the "at least" technique, the other suffering person does not know that we are drawing any solace from his trouble. The comparison and resultant feeling of comfort or partial relief are restricted to one’s mind or one more person who we are confident will keep it to himself. Is it right to attain comfort in this manner? Is it devoid of any wrong? Count your blessings The other technique we employ or prescribe to others is "count your blessings." We might tell ourselves, "I am blessed that I survived the car crash." "I am blessed I had a portfolio that narrowly avoided a bloodbath with the stock market crash." A passenger bumped off a flight is arguing with the airline staff at the gate, and they come to know the plane crashed at take-off, all on board dead. The passenger takes to social media and shares a "Missed grandma’s 90th birthday but counting my blessings" post that goes viral. In the above examples of the "count your blessings" technique, or pretty much any time we count our blessings, aren’t we implying that another person is not similarly blessed? We survived a crash, another person did not. Is it right to thus attain comfort or a sense of well-being and gratitude from the lack of certain blessings in another person’s life? . .