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Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
December 6, 2012

Don’t Complain…Count your blessings

By Kevin Devlin

Now that the holiday season is upon us, take a step back, and appreciate your lives, family, and friends. Reflect and just enjoy living in the greatest country in the history of the civilized world.

We all do it. Complain that is. We gripe about little things that really shouldn’t bother us. I think it’s because we no longer appreciate what we have and take many things for granted. We are spoiled Americans with big cars and large televisions. And, we have cell phones, I-Pods, Blueberries, Xbox, and other fancy electronic items that I can’t, nor care, to mention here.

Recently, I was shopping at Shaw’s Supermarket on the boulevard and was waiting in line for some cold cuts. A young man in his early thirties was behind me in line and talking on his cell phone about the slow deli service. I just listened and thought to myself how superficial his statement was. Moments later, still observing that he was obviously impatient, he asked me what I thought of the service. I said to him that I doubted very much that people in Pakistan or elsewhere overseas had the opportunity-the luxury-to wait in line for such a great variety of deli meats. He appeared somewhat surprised by my statement, paused for a moment, and then silently nodded in apparent acquiescence.

I don’t like waiting in lines at the bank, supermarkets, coffee shops, or being stuck in traffic jams, but what are you going to do. Complain about it? C’mon. Whenever I get frustrated I revert back to a personal philosophy I have relied upon since I wore younger man’s clothes. The concept not invented by me is called “relative perspectives” and it’s simply the “…it could be worse… it could be better perspective.”

Whenever I get annoyed or frustrated about a situation, I flush this concept to the surface and find solace in its wisdom. Why complain about waiting in line to bring home food for your family when millions of people die from starvation every year? Why complain about traffic jams when others are being car bombed by faceless terrorists? Why complain about waiting in line at the bank when others are poor, homeless, and penniless? Why let such foolish annoyances bother us so overwhelmingly?  But at times we do and shame on us!

So, the next time the “Why me?” feeling starts to rise up within you, take a deep breath and reflect on how fortunate you (including me) truly are. For one, we are living in the greatest country in the known universe. We have plenty of food on our tables and go to bed every night safe, cozy, and content. We live in a free and democratic society. We believe in the individual’s right to happiness. We believe evil must be suppressed and that goodness will always prevail in the end. We believe in and have many good things, family, and friends.

So, don’t complain.

Instead, count your blessings, because Americans are truly blessed with the Good Life.

(This story first appeared in SBOL in 2007)



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