Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Incongruent Picture

One of my least favorite things about traveling between two worlds is the way it stirs up things that make me feel slightly insane and angry. I love a chance to go see my family and enjoy the "perks" of "home" - don't get me wrong. It is just that every time I go, I end up feeling frustrated with what I see and hear.

I don't want to be the judgmental jerk that walks around ticked-off , I truly don't ... but sometimes I am that person anyway. :(

I overheard conversations in Dallas last week that totally annoyed me. It just happened to be Dallas, it could have been anywhere. I was in a Chiropractor's office where people in the waiting room groaned and moaned over how inconvenient their lives were and traded woeful tales of traffic and long waits to be seated for dinner along with other equally horrible trials.

They were generally clueless about the beautiful office they sat in while waiting for their late-morning massage before they stepped back into their $40,000 car and jetted off to lunch. Their lives are just *so* hard!See. There it is. The angry sarcasm.

I know I am unloving to be disgusted with these types - but I don't yet know how not to be.

Admittedly, I have a way to go before I love ALL my 'neighbors'. My love sort of stops short of reaching the spoiled and whiny. I mostly want to punch them in the head. Thankfully, I have much restraint and instead I just sit and stew silently and then write mean things about them on the internet later.

We all complain at times, I am guilty. I am talking about something different. I like nice things too. I enjoy convenience just as much as the next guy. It is the larger thing that I often observe that bothers me.

I have no problem with fancy lifestyles, people should be free to live large with their own money if they so choose .... but I have a problem with people who don't care about others, won't see suffering, don't ever consider giving to a cause other than their own, never offer to help the down-trodden and don't have an attitude of gratitude about their own abundant blessings.

It seems to me, that in general, people are spoiled and expect everything to be easy.

When I went into my appointment, we made small talk while the Doctor made me straight. She had no idea where Haiti was (she was big enough to admit that to me) and no idea what the challenges are here. I never offer much more than a shrug and a non-answer in those situations. How do you sum this up in 30 words or less? But I digress ...

The fact that I flew on an airplane to see my daughter and was even sitting in that 68 degree, beautifully appointed Dallas Chiropractic office, waiting for a much needed adjustment - made me more fortunate than about 98% of the world's population. I felt so blessed to be able to go get help with my pain. I *am* SO blessed. I have never been hungry, unable to get medical care, or without clothing and my basic needs met. I don't understand why I escaped so much hardship and pain and poverty - I just know I did.

But like Carrie said in her post ... I am mostly preaching to the choir. If you're here reading, it is likely that you're not looking the other way when it comes to the forgotten and hurting in the world.I want the "haves" to KNOW about the "have nots" - and more than that I want them to CARE ... and more than that I want them to ACT. I want them to desire to use their blessings to affect change for many desperate places and people. I want them to get it!

I guess I wonder- when will we as a society, be less concerned about the newest car, boat or toy and stop obsessing about looking young, vacation spots, trendy clothing, and great hair ... When will we stop buying into the lie of the marketing that tells us that we must have everything in order to be happy or successful or important.And when will we invest in and care about hurting people in a hurting world as our first priority?