Perhaps someone will be able to settle this argument between me and my friend once and for all.
Whenever I whine about some unfortunate happening or circumstance in my life, my friend will remind me that I'm better off than, say, poor starving children in Ethiopia. However, I think this is a faulty apples vs. oranges comparison. If I were to compare myself to others, shouldn't I compare myself among those who are in similar circumstances? That is, if I were to draw valid comparisons between myself and others, wouldn't it make more sense to compare across socioeconomic strata, rather than to compare myself to someone who is clearly more unfortunate or more successful simply because they were born in extraordinary circumstances different from my own?
(Essentially, what my friend is trying to tell me is to not take things for granted. But I find that to be empty advice, especially since I don't think that it's a valid comparison and therefore not a valid argument.)
Thanks for your time!