All too often I will be talking to my friends and they always seem to be complaining about something. One day it’s how they hate their parents so much for not getting them some video game or article of clothing they really wanted and the next is how angry they are that “The Man” is making them go to school. Oh, here’s a really popular one. “Tom, Tom! We really need to talk! My boyfriend is being such a jerk so I’m going to call you and complain about it for two hours tonight!” In a nutshell, everyone seems to blow life’s petty problems way out of proportion. When I hear people complaining about these things, my response is “Well, things could definitely be a lot worse”. I’ve come to find that this simple statement always brings people down from whatever cloud they’re on and realize that their problem isn’t as bad as they originally thought.
We live in an extremely wealthy and well-off area and most of the kids around here attend Lyons Township High School which is a fantastic school. Most of us have successful parents, loving families, great teachers, and friends to help us get to where we want to be in life. We live in a free democracy where any and every opportunity is at our disposal. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do believe that we live pretty good lives compared to people elsewhere around the world. When I think about it, I could have just as easily been born into an impoverished family in a third world country where instead of being unhappy my parents didn’t get me that video game I wanted, I would be unhappy my parents couldn’t feed me for today. I could also have been born into a place where education isn’t a ball and chain like many of us consider it here, but rather a privilege that only few get to enjoy. So next time I’m bummed out I have to go to school, I will remember that I should be grateful for having the opportunity to even go to school because many people don’t.
Now of course none of us have perfect lives and we all have problems we go through. I don’t believe that we have nothing to complain about. I do believe though that you shouldn’t complain too much because someone always is worse off than you, so next time I am about to whine about something I will put it in perspective and be grateful for the things I do have, not what I don’t.