19 December 2005

Daily Annoyances, Hassles, and Obstacles or It's Always Something

Perhaps this differs in different regions in the U.S., but does it not seem that every day serves you up another battle, whether at work, at home, with your car, house, boss, appliance, or with a government entity or corporate one? I’m not speaking of profoundly serious difficulties that warrant deep concern. I may be lucky enough to have never yet had to face any problems that grave, and for that I am grateful. I just recall nearly every day in America being plagued with at least one obstacle, and just when that one was conquered, yet another was there to take its place. Now, granted, overcoming challenges definitely does make you stronger and builds character, but being chronically plagued with them, especially when they are totally unnecessary, unwarranted, or in the global scheme, unimportant, just makes you angry. And frustrated. And it makes daily life quite a stress. Could it be that our anxieties and depressions are at least partially culturally and circumstantially induced rather than a curse of bad genetics and bad (innate) chemical levels? Could it be that the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical industry just exploits and perpetuates our general societal malaise? (Those thoughts not to be confused with a certain celebrity’s Scientology tirade, but mere observations about the oversimplification of cause and effect of socially as well as medically and psychologically complex maladies.)

New Zealand has been amazing in that people here generally do not focus on meaningless details. They tend to let things slide. No proof of address or phone number when applying for a bank account? No problem, we’ll open one anyway. No residency when applying for a library card? No problem, we’ll give you one regardless. No available New Zealand currency for your deposit on your home? Just get it to me when you can. Need a medical exam? Come right over. You’ll be treated promptly (and at a fraction of the cost you expect, even without insurance). Nor do they seem to promote antisocial behavior like “looking out for number one” (and only number one.) They call you back when they say they will. They treat you like they care, without insincerity. And when you are treated that way, you care more about treating other people that way in return. When you are constantly being cheated or shat upon, you feel like you want retribution or justice and need to stick up for yourself and your rights. You do not trust. I felt like that all the time in America. I have only felt that once here thus far (with our rental car). Here, they actually have laws against what is deemed “Dishonesty.” And their car commercials aren’t about “Zoom, zoom, zoom!” or conquering the planet by force. The Toyota ad here promotes “Everyday people.”

In any event, if you might be feeling the stress of it all, here's a little something funny to check out:

Demotivators

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