How Spoiled Are We?


One factor of these interesting times we live in now continues to be a nuisance:  Some items persist in being difficult to find at the store.  When I had yet another run-in with such a dilemma, I groused to myself that it feels more like living in a socialist country than a democratic republic.  Then my contrarian ego decided to shake up that monologue with a question.

Am I spoiled?

Spoiled usually brings to mind the image of a pampered princess who pouts because she was asked to put her own plate away instead of somebody else doing it for her.  But I have a hunch that if you nabbed a fellow from 1880 and dropkicked him into the present, he’d find us pretty spoiled….

And he’d probably also ask to stay.

We get to toss our clothes in a washer and then pitch them into a dryer instead of building a fire, heating the water in the cauldron, stir in soap (made ourselves from lye) with the clothes, wring them out, hang them on the line, chase the birds away….

Our lives are definitely easier than they were a century ago, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Necessarily?  Yes, it’s pretty standard that everything comes with bad and good mixed together.  It seems our lives have become so easy we’re more readily annoyed by little things.  We have in a way become the pampered princess.

But if making our lives easier is a good thing, then why is being spoiled a bad thing?  The difference all lies in attitude.

We can be grateful … or we can be entitled.

Literature has its share of stories about princesses who start with nothing and appreciate deeper meaning over shallow pleasures when the crown comes to them.  It’s one of the ironies of life that we can’t truly enjoy what we have until we’ve done without:  You don’t realize how wonderful it is to be warm and dry until you’ve experienced being cold and wet.

Are we spoiled?  Well, yes, but if we’re grateful for the good in our lives it will also make us more vigilant about insuring our posterity enjoys life at least as good as we have it, and preferably even better.  If we’re entitled, we only care about ourselves and leave posterity with a mess to clean up.

Speaking of messes, I sure will be grateful when the store gets those darn paper towels back in stock….

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