I think we forget.

Or we’re naive.

Or we’re just plain ignorant.

I’m talking about those of us who live in first world countries. We forget how incredible we have it. We’re naive about how bad others actually have it. And we’re ignorant to the fact that we have absolutely nothing to complain about.

Sure, we all have bad days, life is hard sometimes, we got injured, or our kid broke a bone or someone we love dearly passed away… of course these are all good reasons to feel down and out. Let’s just get that out of the way, because I have a different point to make.

Relatively speaking

Relatively speaking, let’s take a second to think about the things we tend to “complain” about on a regular basis.

  • Your boss is a prick.
  • The subway was rammed.
  • It’s a pain in the butt to return those shirts that don’t fit you right.
  • You need to clean up your pet’s puke off the floor.
  • You just noticed your couch has a stain and you can’t get it out.
  • You’re sick of driving in traffic.
  • You’re tired.
  • Your kids complained about what you cooked for dinner.
  • You don’t feel like packing lunches.

Here’s a rebuttal for each.

  • At least you have a boss.
  • You got to work, didn’t you?
  • So what?
  • But you’re privileged enough to own a pet.
  • You still have a comfy couch to sit on.
  • At least you have a car and a place to be.
  • Suck it up, and get to bed a little earlier tonight.
  • There are children eating dirt off the ground because they’re starving to death.
  • Be thankful you have kids to pack lunches for, schools for them to attend and food in the fridge.

We don’t have problems, we create problems

As we talked about her time spent as a nurse helping people in dire need in Haiti, a woman I know said this to me today. There is so much truth that lies in this statement. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we can feel grateful for all that we have, and change our perceptions. Real problems are things like terminal illness, paralyzing injury, homelessness and starvation. And these challenges are everywhere – even in our own towns and cities (you don’t need to go to a third world country to witness them).

Let’s not take anything we have in our lives for granted. Especially when someone just a few kilometres away may be singing an entirely different tune.

Let’s see the greatness in our everyday lives.

Let’s be thankful.

Let’s not make mountains out of mole hills.

Let’s not complain – unless there’s really something to complain about.