Backstory: A friend of mine has hiked some of the major trails in North America. She's done the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. Thousands of miles of hiking out in the wilderness.
My best friend and I were talking about how you expect different things out of different people; everyone has their own starting place and everyone has different raw materials that they're working with.
This other friend, the one who hikes a lot, had been telling my best friend that when she'd first come back from hiking on these kinds of trails, where you're out in the wilderness for weeks if not months at a time, she had a hard time listening to anyone's problems. She had been concerned about making it to the next place with water so she could survive while these people from home were telling about their everyday problems. To her, their problems weren't worth complaining about. And she had trouble listening or relating because she had faced problems that seemed so much bigger.
But then she realized that she didn't know what was going on with them. To them this problem may be the toughest thing that they've faced. It could be altering them as a person. Nothing they've done so far compares to this problem. She realized that it wasn't fair of her to judge them for it.
It was all about perspective, and once she realized that, she was able to relate more.
We all face different challenges and are prepared for them in different ways. So it's good to remember that we could all probably do with a little more understanding and perspective.