One of Nichelle’s and my most eye-opening trips was our first part-time missions trip to Mexico together, about 10 years ago. One of the first rules we made for the kids (and future children) upon our return was, “No whining.” (Getting the children to follow that rule has been difficult, but we never give up.)
Americans, in my opinion, tend to be really whiney ingrates. As someone who has seen life from “the other side,” here are some of the things I try very, very hard never to whine about:
- The price of gasoline. (Go check the consumer prices worldwide for those countries not swimming in petroleum.)
- Government corruption. (When’s the last time you had to bribe someone to get a spot you deserve in university, or paid your traffic “ticket” directly to the police officer?)
- The food I am served, as long as it’s not spoiled. (Complaining about the food or refusing food offered is a huge insult in countries where people are not certain they will get enough food every day.)
- The quality of television and movies. (Watch less. Be more selective. Television and movies have always had both great programming and nearly worthless programming. The great programming and films survive and are remembered, which is why we think that all the “old shows” were like “The Twilight Zone,” when most of them were more like “F Troop.”)
- Being bored. (I honestly can’t remember the last time I was bored. Usually, I have so many things that I want to do, I can’t choose between them.)
- The American justice system. (I know it’s not perfect, but for the most part, our criminal justice system is very fair, and we’re even finally learning about victim rights, too.)
- The amount of money I have. (Do you have any idea how absolutely rich we Americans are?)
- My job. (The US is still, unquestionably, the Land of Opportunity.)
- The weather.
- My wife. (Nichelle is awesome, in far more ways than I can count—although I did try once.)
I’m sure I’ll think of a few others.