Things are tumultuous right now and I don't want to minimize the fact that some people are really struggling. Still, there are a lot of people right now who are speaking with loud voices about how bad things are. Some of these people are sincere, others seem driven by political motives and are stirring up dissatisfaction and dissent for advancement.
But this might be a good time to pause and look around closely.
Go into your bathroom and turn on the shower. Presto! Hot water. Or cold water. Or medium. Whatever you want. And, chances are that you have this set up regardless of how much money you make.
Go into the kitchen. Use your microwave to heat something up. Use your freezer to cool it down. Put your food, which is available for a relatively inexpensive price and requires almost no labor.
Go lay down on your bed and watch your TV. Cold? Put on one of several blankets you can grab. Or just turn your thermostat and get the heater going. Hot? Put on the air conditioning.
Thirsty? Turn the faucet and get clean water that comes to you.
In historical terms, we live in a freaking paradise. Seriously. Even the poorest among us generally take for granted luxuries that would have stunned earlier generations.
In the Great Depression, people were in danger of starving, of freezing. The Great Recession is really bad--but most people who are struggling are struggling with their lifestyle, not their lives.
Poverty in the United States today bears little relationship to what poverty has historically been.
We live in an abundant world, with an ease of daily life that is simply unprecedented. Western civilization, free markets and other things commonly criticized may not be perfect. But they've done pretty well for most of us when you look at where we've been historically.
Yes, let's try to improve things and fix problems. But let's also take a deep breath and look around. We have it pretty good and I think it behoves us to acknowledge that.
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