of whining and judging

So this article from CNN is much more what I would expect from a disaster. Plucky survivors who’ve lost everything, but are determined to soldier on and rebuild their lives. It’s the kind of story that actually makes you want to go help people.

But it got me thinking about why that story bugged me so much in the first place. I think it’s because I’m at a position now in my career (career? I’m old.) where the jobs pay really well. And it all seems so easy. And it’s what we all supposedly dream of. And I’m definitely not complaining about the fact that Stella going to the hospital twice in one night did not have much of an impact on our finances. Because there are a lot of people for whom that is not the case.

But the money and the point in your career also traps you. When you make $30,000 a year life isn’t that hot. You don’t have money for a lot of things you’d like to do. If your dog gets sick you might not eat for a month. But you also can just switch jobs, and careers. Because there are lots of jobs available that pay that much. And people are more likely to give you a chance. But double that, and there are fewer jobs. And they really expect you to know what you’re doing. Double that and they expect you to be an expert and there are even fewer jobs. And it keeps going. The higher up you go, the more insulated you are from life’s twists and turns. But you get soft and the easy stuff starts seeming really hard.

And we’re human beings and we like to complain. We probably should have been called homo whinicus. And sometimes it’s hard to remember that when life is not what we want. Because life is often not what we want. I definitely would be upset and whiny if my 6500 square foot house was potentially on fire. And I would need to be reminded that there are trailer homes burning down. And there are people without insurance. And yet that still doesn’t make my personal situation any easier. We are so self-centered.

I’d like to have some sort of homily here. So many people whose blogs I read tie things up in such beautiful ways. But I’ve got nothing. We need to be sympathized with when we perceive our life is rough. And then we need someone to point out that other people have it much worse and we’re being an ass. And then we need to be sympathized with again. We are very complicated beings.