Stop complaining

One of the great sins of Americans is our constant complaining about everything: our jobs, spouses, children, the weather, politicians, the economy…ad nauseam.

I know someone on welfare that complained he was not getting enough money to keep pace with inflation costs.  I’m not kidding.  If inflation rises by 3% a year, he expects the government to increase his checks by 3% a year.  Otherwise, he starts to fall behind and feels he is getting “cheated.”

A friend once wisely said, “America is the only place in the world with fat poor people.”  How many morbidly obese people do you know that have not done a sliver of work in years, but nonetheless eat like kings and queens?  And then they complain because they can’t afford a new cell phone, or get the AC fixed in their car, etc.

Several years ago, I was asked: “What was one of the greatest sins that the children of Israel were guilty of as they wandered in the desert for forty years?”  It took me several moments before I correctly answered, “Grumbling and complaining.”

People naturally complain and grumble about virtually anything, often for no good reason.  It seems like those who have an abundance usually complain the most, and I believe this is one of the greatest evils of America:  complaining and grumbling when we are literally drowning in blessings every day of our existence.

I’m guilty of this myself, but over the years I have tried my best to break out of this dreadful habit.  For example, walking through the bountiful aisles of the local Sam’s Club near where I live, I try to thank God for the abundance of what He has given me here in America.  Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco that one can find food and other stuff in abundance should cause each of us to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving every time we walk through their doors.

But in reality, none of us do; we take for granted all the blessings that we have in this country and never fully appreciate how obscenely wealthy each of us are who are blessed to live in America.

During “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel bombed parts of the electric grids suppling electricity in Gaza.  That part of the world is hot and humid, and without electricity, life must be a living hell, with no power to run AC units, refrigerators, pumps for fresh water and sewage disposal, etc.

Speaking of sewage disposal, how many people reading this blog would like to earn five dollars a day wading through other people’s urine and feces?  For a twelve hour work day?  Not something that appeals to you?  I don’t blame you.

But in India, almost a million people do exactly this in order to eat.  Here is some eye-opening and gut-wrenching words from the article:

“Dharamani Kale emerged from the manhole, sewage clinging to his body. Next to him, Sona Bai gathered filth in a small round basket and carried it on her head to the end of the street. The unpleasant process had started at dawn and would continue for at least 12 hours.

This is how sewers are cleaned in most Indian cities, including Mumbai, the nation’s booming financial capital: Workers use metal scrapers, brooms or their bare hands to clear drainage and sanitation lines twice a year, before and after the annual monsoon rains.”

Sewage cleaner india

The poor soul in the picture above is standing almost waist deep in human sewage.  Please understand what this means:  he is standing in a densely populated city’s toilet bowl after the residents have done their daily business.  Literally, his skin is in contact with human urine and fecal matter:  a  giant, unclean cesspool of disease and filth.  Imagine the overwhelming and nauseating stench this man is breathing as this photo was taken.

This numbs the senses because we simply cannot imagine that anybody would be reduced to such a degrading job.  It is so far beyond the pale of our easy existence here in America that not a soul can comprehend the desperation of anyone who would feel the necessity of taking on such a horrific job.  We rightfully ask ourselves, “Who would do something like this?  Such a job should not even exist.”

This is the true face of poverty and not the phony caricature of poverty that we have in America.  Here, if a person does not own a cell phone and have access to cable, he is considered poor and in need of government assistance…all on the taxpayer’s dime, of course.

What might God’s attitude be toward Americans, who lack nothing but complain about everything?  I think it would do all of us an immeasurable amount of good if we went to India and joined some of these sewage cleaners in their cesspools for a month.  I don’t think any of us would complain about our lots in life again.


The UN’s misguided views of the “proportioned” response

Imagine you are awakened by the sound of breaking glass coming from your kitchen area.  Your neighborhood has had a recent glut of robberies and break-in’s for the last several months, so you grab your home defense weapon, a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buck shot, and cautiously approach the area from your bedroom.

A masked intruder, holding a six inch knife, sees you and makes a threatening move in your direction.  You respond with a shotgun blast to his chest, instantly killing him.

According to the UN, you would be condemned for employing “disproportional force” toward your enemy.  They would prefer you had used a knife similar in blade length, weight, and sharpness of your attacker’s.  That you used a weapon disproportionately in size, killing power and effectiveness against the intruder is the issue.

Such nonsense is currently directed towards Israel’s so-called use of “disproportionate force” in their current war against the terrorist group Hamas.  The UN and their supporters who are decidedly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel in this conflict are appealing to a curious standard of fairness that has no place in this situation.

In my example above, who would criticize this homeowner for protecting his life, those of his family members, and their property from this criminal?  In comparison, we could expect the UN to chastise this father because he did not put down his shotgun, ask the burglar for permission to open up one of the kitchen cabinet drawers, and rustle around inside searching for a knife of similar blade length, weight, and size as the one he was holding.  Then, the ensuing knife fight could be fought in both fairness and proportion…as long as the homeowner was not bigger, stronger or heavier than the criminal.

Hamas, clearly the underdog in this battle, picked a fight with an opponent they knew outweighed, outgunned, and outclassed them in every category.  If Hamas can possibly be found to have any commendable qualities, it would be chutzpa—or lunacy—to have kicked over this hornet’s nest that will undoubtably sting them into near oblivion.  One can even admire a fool for attempting the impossible.

How has the concept of warfare digressed to such terms as “proportioned responses”?  Is America to be faulted for their decidedly “disproportioned response” to Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and note there were no “knock knock” bombs to warn the Japanese of the horror about to greet them) ?  Would we need to cover our ears from the shrill cries of condemnation from those who today would surely protest the multiplied thousands upon thousands of innocents killed in these two events?  Would horrific pictures such as these below be continually displayed on news sites to show the “unfairness” of the US response to Japan’s aggression?

Hiroshima burn victim 1

hiroshima_victim 2

Israel did not start this fight, a truth that appears overlooked when the discussion arises concerning what is proportional and what is not as the proper response to these attacks.

What is further overlooked is the fact that Israel has exercised great restraint in how they have responded to Hamas’ war crimes and hostilities.  Israel has already lost 56 soldiers with one was captured today.  These deaths and the capture of this soldier did not have to happen; Israel could have well used their superior fire power to level and destroy any part of Gaza they wished, dramatically softening up their targets before the necessity of a ground invasion.  But had they done this, the civilian death toll would be catastrophic.  To save civilian Palestinian lives, Israel has sacrificed dozens of their soldiers.

This is one reason why Hamas hides their rockets in residential areas, mosques and hospitals, knowing full well Israel’s reluctance to indiscriminately bomb known targets embedded among the civilian population of Gaza.  And let the world know that if the tables were turned and Hamas had the upper hand in this conflict, they would not hesitate at annihilating hundreds of thousands—even millions—of Israeli citizens if the opportunity presented itself.

For Hamas, a “proportioned response” does not exist in their vocabulary.  Let the hypocrisy end.