Sunday, November 23, 2008

It could always be worse.

Published November 23, 2008
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Thanksgiving during an economic crisis puts many in an interesting position. If things aren’t going well in your life, it might be hard to have an attitude of gratitude. There are probably people telling you that you should focus on what you have. I do not disagree. But in this time of economic uncertainty, when people are out of homes and out of jobs, and others are sure to follow, maybe it’s better to flip that sentiment on its head. Maybe it’s time to embrace a different mantra…it could always be worse.

Some might think that uttering those words is a classic example of a person tempting fate. I disagree. I don’t think people who think this way truly understand the meaning of fate. I mean, fate is fixed. It’s unchangeable. It can’t really be tempted. If things are going to get worse, they’ll get worse regardless of what you say, right? I’m just saying that even then, they could always be worse.

Someone out there is thinking, “I got pounded by the sub-prime mortgage debacle. I got laid off because my company made cuts. I don’t even know how I’ll manage Christmas for my kids or rent for next month or that operation I need so badly. On top of that, my wife left me for my best friend, my truck broke down, and my dog just died. I’m one tragedy away from a bad country song. HOW on earth could things possibly get worse?”

Legionnaire’s disease…that’s how. Did you ever stop to think about how much worse things would be if you had Legionnaire’s disease? Probably not. On Thanksgiving Day, if you have nothing else for which to be thankful, you can bow your head and say, “God, I’m grateful I don’t have Legionnaire’s Disease.”

And what if you do? Believe me…it could always be worse. Ever heard of amoebic dysentery? How about leprosy? The plague? I’ve bet you’ve never even had typhoid fever or even one bout of scurvy. Most people younger than I am haven’t even had chicken pox. Imagine having chicken pox right now.

When you look around at the rain of misfortune that keeps pouring down upon your life, imagine how much harder it would be to deal with if your home were overrun by genetically altered laboratory rats with really big teeth and the ability to reason. I know I’m grateful I’m not fighting off those guys right now.

And just think. Isn’t it nice that our country’s recession isn’t just a side note to a poorly timed reincarnation of carnivorous dinosaurs? Isn’t it nice to know that even if you didn’t vote for President-elect Obama, he’s probably not actually a killer robot sent to earth from the planet Zarcon to prepare for the coming invasion. I don’t know about you, but I’d take partisan politics and questionable economic policy over that any day.

If none of this makes you feel better, all is not lost. Things are still better off than they could be. If you can’t find even one thing to be grateful for, just hold out until Turkey Day and let the folks at Red Rock Canyon School find it for you. (Former employee shout out! Hi guys! Miss you!) Head on over to their location at 747 E. St. George Blvd any time from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner on them. You’ll enjoy great food, live music, and a much needed case of the warm fuzzies as you bow your head and say, “God, I’m grateful that even though my life is turning into a country song, at least I didn’t have to cook today.”

Of course, if you have Legionnaire’s Disease, you may want to call ahead.