Podcasting is a beautiful thing: I listen to the news programs I choose whenever it suits me. Sure, I don’t keep up and it’s not always new by the time it reaches me, but the big stories cross my content stream eventually. Which, not actually being in the 21st Century here, isn’t a problem. And even SFGate, the on-line version of the San Francisco
Comical Chronicle, manages to step out of its hall of mirrors often enough to show me what’s happening where hipsters don’t live. Which seldom fails to remind me just how incredibly blessed I am. Even before the travel and the toys and my general dilletantery, we ~you, too, gentle reader out on the interwebs~ are unspeakably wealthy compared to so many.
Most of us live in places where we and our neighbors do not express our frustration with life and dissatisfaction with others through homemade explosives and violence in the streets; murder and mayhem seldom being the plat du jour, we do not need to consider the safety of stepping out for a coffee.
We have water which is safe to drink flowing into our homes and out of the taps in an unending stream for which we pay nearly nothing. And out again, our unhygienic byproducts flush away, all from the privacy our own individual water closets. We can bathe at will and have clean clothes to wear and clean sheets to crawl between as we slumber in safety behind our locked doors.
Doors and windows which open and close, screens to exclude biting and disease bearing insects, floors which can be made clean: what portion of the human population lacks even these basic luxuries?
It is so easy to let what we are accustomed to become the baseline of our needs. I’ve learned here that I don’t need many of the things commonly available in the States. But sometimes I forget that even here, my needs are so much more than met. It is only the disconnect between the national pride in its 1st World modernity and the truth of the matter that frustrates me. If I lower my expectations until it doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s still not a dirt floor, the walls rotting from shoddy work aren’t really my problem as a renter, there is a refrigerator full of food in the kitchen and a sweet, healthy cat on the couch. And the man I love comes home tomorrow.