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Monday, January 18, 2010

A sure-fire cure for self-pity

This morning I was feeling a tad sorry for myself.  Here I was not even two days into a two week business trip and I was already starting to feel congested and sniffly.  Not only that, but I was tired and sore from the two flights I'd already endured (with a prospect of at least another nine to go before I sleep in my own bed).   

And on top of it all, I was hungry.  Not hungry, as in I haven't had anything to eat... but rather hungry, as in, I haven't had anything good to eat.

Road trips are kind of a culinary desert which kosher-eating Jews have to cross.  Everyone has their own formula for surviving the desert... but I usually bring along (or send ahead) Manot Chamot (cup-o-noodles), Cabanos (kosher peperoni stix), tuna, granola bars, etc. 

But by the second day of must trips, all I can think about is the luxury of being able to stand in front of my open refrigerator in my own kitchen, running up the electric bill while deciding between four different kinds of yummy left-overs.

So, this morning as I was having these self-pitying hungry thoughts, and thinking to myself how truly unsatisfying a cup of coffee and granola bar were, I spotted a plate of clementines on a glass table by the window and happily peeled one for myself.

I took the peeled clementine, sat down on the crisp, high thread count cotton sheets of the king-sized bed, and leaned back into the stacked goose-down pillows to watch the morning news on the large screen plasma TV on the wall... all the while grumbling to myself that the vitamin C in the fruit might help keep my cold from getting too bad... but these sure weren't as good as Israeli clementines.

When I stood up to get another piece of fruit, I happened to glance out the window of my well-appointed suite and noticed a little make-shift shanty-town in the park across the road where literally hundreds of people were living in shacks made of cardboard, wood scraps, plastic sheeting and other stuff salvaged from who-knows-where.

 Delhi 063

Here's a closer look (as if you really needed one to know where this post is headed):

 Delhi 062

These people aren't living like that for a week or two.  They aren't enduring that mess with the smug assurance that in a few days a soft bed and the good life will be waiting for them.  For them (and for a big chunk of the world's population), this is it.  That's as good as it's gonna get.

Heck, if any of those people across the road could afford a TV set or the electricity to run it, they'd probably look at the news coming from Haiti right now and think to themselves, 'Holy cow, I may not be rich, but at least I'm not there!'.

I sometimes forget how ridiculously fortunate I am, and how different my life could be in the the blink of an eye.

So if anyone is looking for a sure-fire cure for self-pity... I have a little something that will snap you out of your funk in a hurry.  Don't thank me... I'm a giver.

And speaking of giving, forget all those websites popping up like mushrooms after a rain asking for donations for Haiti.  Give to the organizations that have been around in good times and in bad... providing disaster relief around the globe and taking a bare minimum of overhead for themselves.  I don't need to paint you a picture... you know what to do.

Posted by David Bogner on January 18, 2010 | Permalink


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Yasher koach, my friend. Perspective is a wonderful gift, when one knows how to use it.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Jan 18, 2010 9:25:42 PM

That photo says a lot. A fine composition; an essay in itself. Since we are "feeling blah" brothers these days, I will pray for your health. My students, evidently, finally got to me last week, but this long weekend gives me time to shrug whatever-it-is off.

If we made a list of things to be thankful to G-d for, when would we ever get anything else done? ;o/


Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jan 18, 2010 10:00:05 PM

What, you used up all the juicy steak vitamins and minerals upon which you feasted before your trip?
My prescription for the common cold: Grandma's Kosher Chicken Soup (is that hard to procure over there?)
Excellent composition the first pic up there.

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Jan 18, 2010 10:12:35 PM

I sometimes forget how ridiculously fortunate I am, and how different my life could be in the the blink of an eye.
Don't we all? The present tragedy in Haiti is a remider that we shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jan 18, 2010 10:17:14 PM

Donate via World Jewish Relief.

Need I say more?

Posted by: chairwoman | Jan 18, 2010 10:57:56 PM

Very good post. Like the pictures too. But, um, do I know what to do? Not sure what you're referring to.

Posted by: Deena | Jan 18, 2010 11:35:04 PM

Take Leo's advice. He prescribed chicken soup for me as well a while back, and six weeks later I felt great! ;-)

Posted by: Baila | Jan 19, 2010 12:03:51 AM

6 weeks, Baila, 6 weeks? Must have been made out of defective chickens.

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Jan 19, 2010 5:05:22 AM

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