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Complaints, Complaints!
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Last night I was looking at some scenes of the devastation caused by rain and flooding in the northeast. It made me regret yesterday's post about my own weather related woes. The family surveying the pile of mud and rubble that had been their home would probably not sympathize with me losing a computer monitor. It was a petty complaint under the circumstances.

I do a lot of moaning on this blog. Nor am I alone in this in the blogosphere. Bloggers often use their forums to vent and that's not necessarily a bad thing. If a story consists of conflict and overcoming obstacles, then the stories of our lives -- at least the most interesting stories -- are about what vexes us.

But one person's justifiable lamentation is another's bellyaching.

It always irks me when I hear someone griping about how they are too "poor" to afford a third car, when they already own two other vehicles, or how dreadful it is they can't replace their "cramped" quarter million dollar abode which isn't large enough to acommodate all their new furniture.

How dare these greedy bastards complain about poverty when one of their vehicles is worth as much as my home? When my whole house would fit comfortably into their sunken living room?

Yet, I suppose the lack of an extra vehicle or more space for their giant screen television pains them, and, on the other hand, who am I to complain about the water pipes freezing in the winter, or living miles from the post office (for instance) when there are people trying to survive on the street for whom my rustic cottage would be an undreamt of luxury?

Are our personal tribulations rendered insignificant because there is someone who is worse off? Of course, there is always someone worse off. The homeless man, shivering in a doorway, is trumped in his misery by the naked newborn tossed into a dumpster.

Is there then some demarcation line marking the boundary of justifiable distress? Should we, morally, refrain from complaining if we have a roof over our heads, adequate clothing, and enough to eat? Probably, considering how many human beings lack even such minimal necessities.

Not that I will be able to refrain. We all feel our own pain, inconsequential as it may be in the greater scheme of things. I try to keep some perspective.

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