You may remember a little over a week ago I posted a piece entitled “Where Has My Internet Gone??? And Why Do I Care???” in which I bemoaned the fact that for … gasp … two whole days my high speed wireless internet service was down, hence I had to communicate by means of my cell phone and its teeny tiny screen/keyboard, using 4G (I still don’t know exactly what that is, but it enables the cell phone, if nothing else). It was actually one of my most well-read posts. Well, I sit here tonight with internet, two computers at my disposal, a warm house and a full belly, and I think about this. Let me share with you one response from a reader who lives in Ghana:
“This is hilarious for so many reasons. First, as I don’t have a laptop or a PC, I do basically everything on my smartphone: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, IG, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Type notes, etc so its kinda weird to see you “underuse” your smartphone.
Secondly, I’d kill for a 4G internet connection. The only place you’ll get WiFi here are in big offices or universities and even then they are usually either password protected or slow. Oh yes, and in rich people’s houses lol. So us ordinary people have to stick to mobile internet connection with the fastest available now being 3G although you won’t get that everywhere.
Lastly, I just returned from a field trip at a location that had really poor internet and I wasn’t so bummed about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find I didn’t really mind being without internet tho noe that I think about it, poor internet connection is different from nonexistent internet. I always knew I still had the option at the back of my mind.I dont know what I would have done if it was completely unavailable.”
And suddenly, a light bulb moment … I am so very spoiled! We are all so very spoiled! Not just about this, but numerous things began crowding my mind. A week or so ago, I was so highly annoyed because, upon returning from the grocery store, after spending over $100 to feed a family of 3 humans and 8 cats, there wasn’t room for all the produce I had purchased in my refrigerator! Seriously??? How many people do not have access to fresh lettuce, green peppers and broccoli, and how many more cannot afford it even if they have access? And I am complaining because I have access, can afford it, but don’t have space to put it when I get home with it?
And then, another light bulb moment … it isn’t just me, but it is the majority of people in this nation, perhaps in the entire western world! I always thought of myself as pretty much down-to-earth, pretty frugal, trying to help those who are less fortunate. I never thought of myself as a spoiled brat … we are by no means wealthy, we live on my daughter’s salary and my social security check, plus whatever extra we can bring in. But suddenly I see that while we are not wealthy by U.S. standards, by global standards we are indeed wealthy and privileged! I sit here tonight, typing on a 3-month old Dell laptop computer, my home is a comfortable 75 degrees, my belly is full from a meal of chicken wings, potato chips and a cookie, I have a fat, well-fed cat on my lap … who could ask for anything more?
I cannot speak, not do I intend to, for the entire western world. I do know, however, that those who complain about the US economy, who worry about our jobs, who are incensed by higher prices in the grocery store, higher rent, utility costs, etc., and complain about no increase in the social security checks this year are living a life of luxury compared to the majority of the world’s population.
So yes, my internet was out for two whole days and I was inconvenienced. Bottom line is I have internet, I have a computer, I have a roof over my head, food on my table, heat, clothes to wear, a washer & dryer in which to wash my clothes, a refrigerator in which to keep my food and an oven in which to cook it. I am among the wealthiest in the world. I want to remember that. We all need to remember that. I am grateful.