Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Nation of Spoiled Brats

The following comes from Patrice Lewis of the Rural Revolution blog: 

We are a nation of spoiled brats. 

We have daily miracles at our fingers tips, and all we can do is complain. 

Push a button, and heat comes on. Flip a switch, and you have light. Turn a handle, and hot or cold water gushes forth. Imagine what folks would have thought about this 100 years ago.

For a small fee, people will haul away your garbage, provide you with endless clean water, and assure the continuation of your electricity, telephone and Internet. 

Feel like talking to friends or relatives 3,000 miles away? Rather than waiting six months for a letter, you merely press a few buttons and voila – instant communication. 

Feel sick? You can visit a doctor who can look inside your body without hurting you. He can use marvelous diagnostic tools to determine what's wrong. He's even unlikely to apply leeches to balance your humors. How amazing is that? 

Feel hungry? Walk into any football field-sized grocery store and take your pick from tens of thousands of food items. You didn't have to milk a single cow, grow a single vegetable or grind a single grain of wheat. Others did that for you. (My Russian sister-in-law nearly wept the first time she set foot inside an American grocery store.) 

Feel like going somewhere? You don't have to hitch up the horses and travel for hours through inclement weather. You can hop in your car or take public transportation. 

Feel unsafe? Not to worry, there are thousands of soldiers thanklessly laboring in foreign countries under dangerous circumstances to protect you. This is in addition to all the domestic police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other emergency personnel whose sole duty it is to protect or take care of you.
We can fly through the air, for crying out loud. For how long has mankind longed to fly? Now we can do it anytime we wish. 

When nature calls, we don't have to trudge outside in subzero weather and freeze our fannies in an outhouse. Nor is our public health endangered from water contaminated by human waste. Only by reading about the horrors of such diseases as cholera or dysentery can we appreciate the freedom from such conditions. 

We can know what's happening on the other side of the planet within seconds. We can purchase consumer goods from any country in the world. Where is our appreciation for these miracles? 

I no longer fear my children will die of smallpox, the plague, scarlet fever or malnutrition before they reach maturity. Instead, I can look forward to someday seeing my grandchildren because my girls, unlike earlier generations, are likely to make it to adulthood. 

Though we are the daily recipients of these and other amazing miracles, what do we do? We complain. We could be suffused in awe and appreciation for all these wonders, but noooOOOOoooo. None of this abundance is good enough. We want more, we want better, we want newer. We want the government to give us stuff for free, stuff like health care and housing, food and employment. These are things that earlier generations knew were our own personal responsibility to provide for ourselves. 

Instead we prefer to whine and gripe and moan our way to socialism because we've become a nation of professional victims. 

How about we put things into perspective? If we counted our blessings as often as we carped about our problems, we would be overwhelmed with gratitude. Read that last line again because it's important.

Sometimes it seems that all we do is complain. Our jobs, our spouse, our kids, our finances, our politicians (OK, I'll grant this is often justified), the economy, the weather, the traffic, the credit card bills, the car payments, the run in your pantyhose, the ding in your car, the malfunctioning CD player, the long lines at the mall, the waiter who forgot your bread rolls … Stop! Take a deep breath, and count your blessings for once.

Read the rest of the article here.

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