I think we should always strive to do and be better - there are so many things in this world in vital need of fixing. Still, there are more than a few things that, while annoying, are still worth being thankful for.
This thought came to me when I had just finished making dinner tonight - and our young Japanese teacher showed up randomly to make us Yaki Soba. I thought the following - but only after realizing the inherent irony.
To all Japanese people:
Would you stop coming into my kitchen and interrupting my dinner to cook me your delicious cultural food. Thank you.
P.S. Of course not really.
Of course, it's still an interesting situation. Even with all the physical labor, I can't very well eat two dinners a night - I will still get fat. Ah well, tonight I eat two dinners. As I thought of this, I thought of a number of other modern complaints we could raise:
GAH! This magical line that connects me to %75 of the world, hosts untold trillions of pieces of information, provides, for free, more knowledge than anyone has had access to in the history of the world up to this point, exponentially faster (even on slow days) than anyone has ever had before - IS SO SLOW TONIGHT!
Or, alternatively, AHG! This magical line WENT DOWN FOR THREE HOURS. Holy Crap. I lived like everyone before 1980.
This skycraft that transports me through the air at near the speed of sound, which I can afford to take over the ocean on a below-national-average salary, is TAKING SO LONG TO TAXI!
AND THE SEATS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE. I mean, well, not like a wooden wagon seat for two months... but SO CRAMPED.
My goodness, but my desk is so full of cheap, high-quality paper. I wish I were back in the days of vellum. So much less to keep track of.
This eight hour work day, in which I've had two fifteen minute breaks, is TAKING FOREVER TO END.
These years, which my society has set aside to attempt to pack my head full of knowledge, and for which society is paying enormous amounts of money are TAKING FOREVER TO END.
This story which I am watching for free on Hulu, in a more powerful and multimedia delivery system than any before, save smellvision, HAS CONTENT OF WHICH I DO NOT APPROVE though I can now minimize this content, instead of it being on a vase in someone's house (ancient Greece) or done in a public play (ancient Rome). and IT COULD BE WRITTEN BETTER.
Could we all just take a moment off of bombing people into the stone age to realize... WE CAN NOW BOMB PEOPLE INTO THE STONE AGE... and better yet, WE CAN DO SO SELECTIVELY, so long as our information is good.
Let's admit it. It's what we've always wanted.
Again, not saying any of these things couldn't be improved. In fact, they can and should be improved. One of the rare times I disagree with GK Chesterton is when he says "an inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered, an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." I would say an adventure is a challenge which we do not know how to overcome, and which demands of our strength and creativity, and repays us with wonder. An inconvenience is a problem which is not new to us (we may have experienced it or read about it) and which does not challenge us in anything more than the use of our time. I'm not saying that modern schooling is an adventure or that we should be thankful for all of it - we should be trying like the Dickens to change it -
AND I MOVE WE SHOULD HAVE FEWER INCONVENIENCES.
But, that said, I also move that we take a second and realize just how many conveniences we have. Modern schooling, for all its faults, beats child labor any day.
(though, in recognizing that, let's recognize that they were brought to us by people unsatisfied with the current level of inconvenience, and therefore not criticize the unsatisfied with our satisfaction.)