If you’re a book reader like myself and have read about what goes on in Third World Countries, you may have come to the same conclusion as I have. We Americans are a spoiled bunch.
I recently read a book by war correspondent Kevin Sites. Sites has covered many wars in little countries most people have never heard of. The horrid conditions some people are forced to live in is astonishing. The bloodshed of innocent women and children is commonplace. Husbands and fathers are executed in front of their families because they refuse to join certain rebel factions. Families are forced to live in nothing more than shacks with no electricity and unclean drinking water. And children die from starvation and disease daily.
I’m sure some of you have heard of the Killing Fields of Cambodia, where at least 1.7 million people, nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population were killed by execution, disease, starvation, and overwork under Pol Pot’s- Khmer Rouge’s brutal rule from 1975 to 1979. But what about the war in Uganda, where brutal rebel groups, the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA kidnapped children, possibly as many as twenty-five thousand over two decades, who are then turned into fighters, servants or “wives” for LRA rebels. Have you heard of that? You should read about the Sudan Civil War, a war that took the lives of more than two million people, mostly through famine and disease.
I hope I never have to witness the atrocities I’ve read about in different books. But I admit, It got me thinking about how lucky we are here in the United States.
Now I will share with you the ridiculous things I’ve witnessed from spoiled Americans in the United States in the past 20 years.
I’ve seen things like people getting upset because Walmart was out of stock of the shampoo they wanted, even though 17 other brands were sitting on the shelf.
Upset because it rained the day after they washed their 45-thousand dollar automobile and it got dirty.
Complaining of “no service” on their cell phones while out in the middle of nowhere.
Mad because Amazon took an extra day delivering the new Kindle book reader they bought off the internet, even though they read from a common book their whole lives.
Upset because they actually had to get up from their recliner, walk to the coffee table, get the remote control, and change one of the 250 channels on their 65-inch high definition T.V.
Griping because their Apple iWatch was not conveniently located on their wrist and they had to walk to the table to get their new iPhone 7 to read their text or answer a call.
Upset because the internet was down and they couldn’t post a photo on Facebook of their new designer purse.
Ranting because the drive-thru at Wendy’s had three cars in front of them, even though they didn’t have to spend an hour at home cooking supper.
Complaining because the plane that will get them to California in four hours of flight time was a half hour late, never giving a thought to the homesteaders of the 1850’s that took six to eight months for their journey.
Complaining about Dish Network’s prices, after deciding 200 channels are not enough and they want 250 channels plus HBO (remember when you only had the big three and were satisfied)?
Upset because their scanner is slow to scan a check to upload a deposit into their checking account, although it saved them a trip to the bank.
Perturbed because the internet download speed at home is only 20 Mbps, while at work it is 50 Mbps.
Upset because the drive-thru line at the pharmacy was too long to pick up that life-saving medicine.
Mad because stamps are too high, although they pay all their bills online anyway.
Upset because the water pressure from their $100.00 shower nozzle doesn’t knock the shampoo off their head in 2.6 seconds.
Disgruntled because Siri doesn’t understand their voice commands and they have to type something in the search bar.
Disappointed that their $85,000 camper is too big to fit in the standard sized camping spot, designed for standard sized campers.
Aggravated because their hair frizzed from the humidity, while on their luxury cruise to the Bahamas.
Complain because their clothes are getting too tight, pondering why, as they eat their pecan pie and ice cream while watching that 65 inch T.V.
Upset because their boss told them they actually need to do the work they are paid for, instead of surfing the internet and reading Facebook posts while at work.
Mad because they bent their favorite golf club when they wrapped it around a tree because they missed the 5-foot putt while playing at the exclusive country club that most people can’t afford to join.
Ranting because they were out of Dasani bottled water, and had to drink the water out of the kitchen sink.
Complain about the atmosphere of Walmart, when they are in there themselves for the low price guarantee.
Complain to fellow workers because their new car doesn’t have a hard drive and they have to go “old school” and use CDs.
Rant because they didn’t get enough “likes” when they posted that new designer purse on Facebook.
Get irate at the stop light because it turned red on a leisurely drive down to the Spa.
Upset because they feel shortchanged when the potato chip bag is half full of air when it plainly states “this bag is sold by weight and not by volume.”
Ranting because in order to make money, they actually have to work for it.
We are all guilty of complaining, although most things we complain about weren’t even around 20 years ago. So why do we complain? Because we are spoiled. We want to have the best, fastest, biggest, and newest everything.
When we acquire all these things, we’re happy for a while, then the vicious cycle starts all over again of wanting the best, fastest, biggest, and newest.
I’ve heard older people say, “when I was growing up we were poor, but we didn’t know it because everyone around us was poor.” And most will say they were “very happy”.
What happens when the less fortunate person gets around more fortunate people? They realize what they don’t have and start complaining.
I read a book a while back about a person who escaped North Korea, she could not believe all the inventions of the free world. She was content just having a full stomach every day because of her freedom. I can’t help but wonder how long she will keep that mental attitude? Or will she get caught up in the vicious cycle of wanting the latest and greatest superficial things.
I admit, in today’s world, with the internet and television it’s almost impossible not to salivate over the latest and greatest, but at what point are we satisfied? Remember your first flip-phone? What about dial-up internet? Or a 25-inch T.V.? There was a time we were all satisfied with just that, and it was a great feeling. Most of you couldn’t imagine having to go back to that… now could you?
Try to make a conscious effort in the next month to see how many times you complain about something that just a few years ago you got along just fine without.
Well, I have to go. I need to get online and buy a new Microwave. Mine used to heat up a cup of water in 45 seconds, now it takes a full minute!