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[The following is excerpted from a recent column written by Eric Von Haessler and published in The Sunday Paper.]
Dear Mr. and Mrs. America,
Could you please knock off the moaning and groaning and whining and hand-wringing? Is it even possible for you to stop the griping, kvetching and bellyaching long enough to realize that things ain’t so horrible?
You sit around pouting about the fact that you don’t have enough money and yet it’s impossible to find a Nintendo Wii anywhere because you’ve bought them all. You complain about prices at the gas pump but in the last few weeks you've found $118 million to spend on the movie version of “Horton Hears A Who." These are dust bowl days?
You’re in a bad mood you have no right to be in, America. Much like a child who throws a fit over self-serving and trivial matters, it is correct to label you a spoiled brat. You live in the land of plenty, but that isn’t enough for you. You demand guarantees of constant comfort and throw a tantrum at the first sign of distress.
Life is hard. That’s something the generations preceding you, the generations that built this country, understood. The founding fathers and mothers didn’t create this nation as a means to safekeep your personal comfort. The idea was to get Kings and Queens off your back so you could shape your own life as you see fit. And that is really all you have a right to expect. The rest is up to you.
It is up to you, not your local or national politicians, to make your life better. Stop extending your hands for handouts and start using them to forge the future you wish for.
How are your complaints to be taken seriously when your children are wearing $100 tennis shoes, you spend zillions a year on sporting events, and your inner cities are festooned with more flat-screen TVs than at least 50 countries on the planet? You have shown through your habits that you have plenty of money to spend. You may be spending it on all the wrong things—but that’s your problem, not the government’s.
It’s not that you’re afraid of not being able to afford the staples (food, energy, etc.) in the near future; your fear is that you’ll lose the goodies—your luxuries. So now you’re demanding the government bail you out with stimulus packages and mortgage help designed to allow you to resume your shopping. You make me sick.
You stand on the shoulders of giants whether you choose to recognize it or not. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers have given their lives to help secure the society that handed it all to you on a silver platter. You mock their sacrifice now with your petty grumbling. If you could see a way to take one moment from your nonstop amusements to think about the sacrifices others have made in order for you to live this life, you just might realize how much you’ve got and how lucky you are.
OK, I’m done. You can go back to complaining about the economy while talking on your iPhone as you navigate traffic in your new SUV.
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