By Amy McCollom
I am so spoiled. I whined and complained to my husband last night because I couldn’t fast-forward through commercials while watching a movie. How did I get so spoiled? We used to have Mediacom cable TV with a DVR, so we could literally pause our show, and then fast-forward or rewind through any part we chose. We became so used to not having to watch commercials that now that we don’t have that feature, commercials are literally painful to have to endure. Especially having to watch the same commercials over and over again during the same movie or show. It’s like torture!
My husband has a different idea of being tortured, and thinks that enduring commercials while getting our shows and programs for free using an antenna instead of paying for cable services is something we can all tolerate. In fact, he found my suffering humorous. That, of course, did not help me feel better.
Although I dislike his decision not to get cable TV , he is right. We were spoiled with the DVR feature. I should be thankful for even having programs to watch, with or without commercials. I have so many other luxuries in my life, I have no reason to complain about such silliness.
My grandmother never had running water or electricity when she raised 13 children out in the country down by Marshall, Illinois. She and Grandpa raised them all through the Great Depression, sometimes living off of water gravy, and whatever they could hunt, or scavenge out of a farmers field. The boys, all but 1 who had juvenile diabetes, went off to the services, from WWII through the Korean War, and even to the VietNam War, Uncle Kenny not making it back alive from that one. Grandpa raised a small crop of tobacco on his little plot of land, cut wood, and did carpentry work. Somehow they made it through rough times and happy times with hard work, hope, and calloused hands.
I know better than to complain. It’s really not in my blood. I wasn’t raised as a spoiled princess, nor would I want to be. Oh, how easy it is to fall into the ease of life when luxuries abound, and forget your roots, though. From a movie I saw once, “It’s harder to have had money and lost it, than to never have had money at all.” I surmise it’s harder to have had luxuries and to have lost them than to never have had luxuries at all.
If I look around, it is so much more than a DVR that our world has grown accustomed to. The fastest cell phones, with the best cameras in them, computerized thermostats that automatically adjust to your body temperature, talking house assistants that turn on lights, music, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and make phone calls for you. People don’t cook anymore. They don’t even have to go shop anymore. They can work from home and not commute. They literally have nothing to complain about. Yet, this spoiled nation does complain and finds even the smallest inconvenience bothersome to the point of anxiety. I did.
We should all remember this one thing. Nothing is forever. All of this can be gone in a snap. One big crash in a computer somewhere and it can all come crashing down. Nothing is permanent in this world. My dad always said, “Don’t be thinking things won’t change; they even change Presidents every four years.”
So yes, someday we may all have to endure watching commercials again. We may all have to endure cutting firewood again. We may have to pump water from a well, cook our own food, and God help us, turn on our own coffee maker again. But we will be better because of it. We can do it! They have lotion for callused hands now!
So stop whining about inconveniences. (I’m preaching to myself here too) Never think you are all that and a bag of chips. No one is better than anyone else. Start being thankful for what you do have and stop wishing you had something else.
For every time you look at someone and wish you had their life, there are others looking at your life wishing they had yours. If you ever start feeling sorry for yourself, do this: Go to a grocery store parking lot and sit there a few minutes. Watch the people come and go. Within ten minutes you will see people who have it worse than you do. Want to trade lives with them? Start being thankful for what you have, and you will realize you have more than you think you do.
This is the season of thankfulness. Count your blessings, not your sorrows. And smile, you are prettier when you smile.