If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you.  This is the principle difference between a dog and man (Mark Twain). It’s true that the more you help some people the more they demand or expect.  When you stop helping them or say “no” to one thing they turn on you viciously.  Then, it’s like nothing good you ever did happened.  It’s only the one thing you did not do that gets remembered.  People (and I don’t mean all of them, certainly) do seem to have short memories.  We tend to forget when we were down, dependent, or in need of help ourselves.  The very people who helped us the most are the ones we are resentful of.  I wonder why this is?  Is it that the people who help us remind us of our vulnerability?  Is it that we are always comparing our lives with what we could have rather than what we have?  Is it that we want more no matter how much we have?  I notice when I begin to feel pity for myself or like a victim and I stop myself.  Usually it’s over something very trivial.  I remind myself of how fortunate I really am.  We often take things for granted as if it’s no big deal when countless people over the world have very little in comparison.  We take things like shelter, clean water, food, transportation, clothing, and basic health for granted–as if it’s only what we should expect.  We forget to feel grateful for so many things and then complain about what we do not have.  Sure, there will most likely be someone who has more and better than we do. On the other hand, there are those who have little or nothing compared to what we have.  In all things be thankful.  It only takes one accident, one illness, one loss, or one incident for our lives to change forever for the worst.  Each of us could lose our health, our incomes, our homes, and our loved ones in a blink of an eye.  Our way of life, however flawed, is a wonderful blessing.  We live in one of the finest countries on earth where the poorest among us are wealthy compared to many around the world.  We have opportunities regardless of our race, upbringing, or social status that people in 3rd World countries can’t even dream about.  We have rights, protections, services, and voices.  We really could spend more time appreciating what we do have, taking advantage of the opportunities afforded us, and work to make life better for all people all over the world.  We could stop letting special interest groups pull our collective strings making us dance to their music of division.  As long as we focus on our differences and the things we do not have in common, the weaker we are as a whole.  A country divided cannot stand and when we are divided amongst ourselves we are sure to fall.  If we were all more like children (before they are old enough to be programmed and socialized) the world would probably be a much better place.  (written 12/3/17 for



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