What is a real problem?

Have we become a nation of snarlers, snifflers, whiners and weepers?  After watching the networks hype emotional footage of people’s reactions to their Christmas packages being delivered late, it seems so.

One woman was upset because her live lobster did not arrive in time for Christmas Eve dinner.  (I’ll bet the lobsters were glad to have a couple more days of life before being plunged, alive, into boiling water!) 

Another woman drove to a distribution center in hopes of getting her package.  Are you kidding?  How likely is it that she would be allowed to enter a huge warehouse containing millions of packages, and look for her name?  She appeared to be a grown up, but she was wiping tears off her cheeks!

One man, who was old enough to have five o’clock shadow, spoke with a tremulous voice that “Christmas was ruined!”

And hoards of these immature spoiled brats headed for the nearest lawyer to sue retailers or delivery services!

These folks need a REAL problem.  For example, the parents in California whose 13 year old daughter has recently been declared brain dead.  Are those who are so upset over delayed packages not aware of the on-going tragedy in Syria where the bullets fly indiscriminately every day? Or the families in the US, who have lost a member to gun violence---as of today, the number dead since Sandy Hook has reached 34,672. (Kirk and Kois in Slate) It is estimated that 60% of those deaths were suicides.  Think of the the families in Newtown, Connecticut, who spent another Christmas without their darling first graders who were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary, or the families of the brave teachers who have died trying to protect their students.  Surely the families of firefighters and police who have given their lives to protect or rescue others will grieve forever.  Think of the physically and mentally wounded vets and the families who care for them.  What about the families in Louisiana, New Jersey, Minot, who lost their homes to floods?  What about the people who lost everything and everyone to tsunamis or hurricanes in Indonesia or the Philippines, or tornadoes in the US?  What of the homeless, the hungry, the ill or injured, the disabled, abused, lonely…

Packages arriving a couple of days late may be an inconvenience or an annoyance, but it is not permanent and not a tragedy.  Certainly not worthy of tears, anger, or legal action.  This situataion could be perceived as an opportunity to teach children that life has disappointments, that most events are temporary and correctible, that most people are strong and resilient and we can cope and survive and rise above disappointments and inconveniences. 

These snarlers, snifflers, whiners, and weepers need a REAL problem to give them perspective. 

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”  John Gingrich