A Great Reminder About How Lucky We Are

I recently switched optometrists and had my first appointment last week.  My new optometrist is an immigrant.  We did a perfunctory introduction and she started my eye exam.  She used some fancy equipment to check something in my eyes and remarked, “This technology is wonderful.  It is amazing that we get to use the technology on everyone in this country.”  I asked why she said that.  She replied, “Most of the world does not have what the US has.  No access to technology, no freedom.  Yet most Americans are unhappy and complain.  Most of us don’t have real problems.  I volunteer at the VA.  A lot of those people have real problems.”

I thanked her for volunteering at the VA.  She then asked if I had been to this location before.  I told her that we had recently moved and this was my first visit.  She replied, “Oh, it’s great here.  Great community.  But be careful of the police.  They pull you over for speeding.  I get pulled over a lot!”  She paused and said, “I feel like a real American.  I’m complaining about something that I should not complain about.  In fact, I should be happy that the police keep us safe.”  We both laughed.

Her message hit home.  We are certainly living in challenging times.  It is easy to complain and be dissatisfied with how things are.  If you take a step back, most of us should be very grateful for where we are. 

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