I’m pretty sure Grandpa Hammit would tell us all to stop bitching about how bad we have it. This would be the grandpa that fought in World War II. He’s not around anymore, and I never knew him. But family tradition has it that he was a pretty tough cookie. Normandy will do that to you.
My other grandpa is still around. He doesn’t like to talk about politics and whats going on in the big world. But I’m pretty sure if I came to him complaining about how bad my generation has it he would tell me to quit bitching. This grandpa spent most of his youth trying not to starve to death by picking cotton and hunting rabbits. He was the middle child of nine who were born to dirt-poor Czech immigrant share-croppers. Hunting for your dinner in the tree line (mmmmmm, squirrel stew), now that is real poverty folks. But never once have I heard him tell me how bad he had it.
Slate.com recently published the article, “Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation…” The author then goes on to describe a Federal Reserve study that shows that Millennials are worse off than Boomers or Gen Xers financially.
My reply, “Pffffffft.”
I read the article and wondered how in the world the information was helpful. The conclusions certainly may be correct. I am not even judging the underlying information. But are we all playing some big contest of who has it worse? What is the good of that?
I sit in my house with all of my material BS and full refrigerator and grocery store down the street and can’t help but think that glass half empty journalism is full of shit. No wonder we all hate each other and ourselves. We are too busy popping Xanax and drinking whiskey while binge-Netflixing our lives away. We are too busy thinking about how bad we have it and how bad the world is. C’mon people! We live in the wealthiest era known to mankind. Even poor farmers in Iraq have cell phones. There are individuals out there with real problems, sure. But anybody who thinks that we, collectively, especially as Americans, live a hard life is full of crap.
Now I look at my title and realize that these aren’t even hard times. That is stupid. It’s all in our minds. We are in an economic boom. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in years. Opportunity abounds! We aren’t living through a depression. We aren’t living in a time where a large chunk of 18-24 year olds are being drafted to fight international evil. We aren’t living in a time of hours-long lines at the gas pump and 15 plus percent interest rates. Hell, a bad day for most of us is when the internet goes out. Or getting caught in traffic (I hate getting caught in traffic). In the grand scheme, those problems are petty. They are champaign problems. First world problems. All in all, we have it pretty good.
Oh, and we live in the greatest nation in the world too. If you don’t think so, try Venezuela for a couple days.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Maybe you want your 5 minutes back too. Sorry, no refunds.