Gratitude for First World Problems
As our National day of thanks approaches, I find myself surrounded by complaints.
On a full flight, three-across seating, I sat wedged into a middle seat for 3+ hours, after being delayed a little more than 90 minutes in the airport. I was annoyed, to say the least.
I strongly disagree with so many of our elected representatives, and can do nothing more than curse the thinking of those who have voted them into office. Life is clearly unfair.
My "smart phone" refuses to download a particular app, and won't remove it from the queue, so I can't download other apps or music or whatever I might like. Not to mention, my home internet service is no where near the advertised speeds. I stifle my rage at such an indignity as this.
And then, as I sat in traffic once again this morning, I stopped the fury of rage in my head and said "thanks" for these complaints in my life.
I can complain about being cramped up in a plane because we have easy open access to air travel, and I can afford to fly if the need arises. I can disagree with my government and my neighbors because I live in a country that started with a core set of values that recognized the importance of dissention and essential freedoms. I can moan and wail that my internet connection is too slow and my phone too buggy because my standard of living is higher than the vast majority of the world.
I can complain about the cost of gasoline because I have a phenomenal job that pays me more in one year than an average family in Pakistan might see in their lifetime. And yet, here in my homeland I am not yet even considered rich.
I can complain about government policies because I had the awesome privelege to attend school for a little more than 16 years of my life without once being threatened with death or disfigurement. And yet, here I have only met the minimum expectation that was set for me.
I may complain, but I am extremely grateful for my first world problems. I (and most, if not all of you reading this) have truly won a socio-geographic lottery. My worries in life are not whether my family and I will be able to survive a harsh winter, or whether we will have food to nourish us, or clothes to protect us from the elements. We don't live in a realistic fear of rocket attacks on our home, or warlords imposing their violent will on us, or extremists assaulting us for attempting something as simple as attending school. How wonderful that we can keep seeking progress towards a more perfect union, even if we may disagree on the path to take.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.