2017-07-12 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

I saw a documentary about a Syrian husband and wife trying to make an impossible decision as to where they’d attempt to resettle their family. Their war tortured country was no longer livable, and they’d decided that it was worth losing their lives and their child’s life rather than continue to live in, no, exist in Hell on earth, Syria. Their relocation choices were Turkey, Greece, or Italy (not the touristy parts), all requiring them to cross dangerous portions of the Mediterranean Sea, not to mention having to spend the last pennies they had.

Seeing this made me feel a little shameful at a conversation Janice and I had today. Vacation for this summer was already set and coming up in a week. We were talking about next year’s vacation. Possibly the Grand Canyon, or New York, or other spots speckled across our country. All would be repeats for us, but not for our granddaughter. I contrasted our matter of fact decision with the literal life and death decision of the Syrian couple. There was zero comparison. Our decision was made with fun and laughter. Theirs? All potential death and destruction, and certain mega-despair.

The USA, so far, is still lopped in with Germany, England, Japan, Canada, France, and others as so-called first-world countries. Syria is a third-world country, along with Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many others. The following are obvious contrasts between first-world countries’ problems and third-world countries’ problems.

FWP will designate first-world problems, 3WP for the third-world problems.

FWP: Which brand of bottled water will I purchase among the eight choices I have to choose from? 3WP: “Is it safe to drink and bathe in the river today, Daddy? What about cholera?” FWP: Which one of twenty book bag choices will my granddaughter choose for middle school this year? 3WP: “Mommy, is it safe to walk to school now? Did they get all the land mines? What about the bands of kidnappers? FWP: “Do you want to go to Longhorns, Chilis, DQ, or Chik-fil-a, honey?” 3WP: We have enough dried beans and rice for two days. FWP: “Honey, can you turn the thermostat down to 68. It’s hot in here.” 3WP: “Honey, our firewood is down to a few sticks. The flood washed away the wood that was available.” FWP: “Kids come inside and let me spray this on you. Gnats are all over your pretty little heads.” 3WP: “Kids come inside now!! I just heard that someone’s three year old had her pretty little head blown off by a sniper’s bullet! Lay on the floor until we tell you it’s safe!”

Janice just came in. “Fish or steak tonight?” Hard choice! “Fish would be great, I said. What about some of your good coleslaw, too. And some French fries would round it out just right,” I added. Now, let’s see what’s streaming on Netflix tonight. The myriad choices make it so difficult. All so FWP!

The Syrian family? The mother survived. Sadly, the father and child drowned. So 3WP!

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