If you have nothing, there's nothing to complain about
Published 3:23 am Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Recently I was talking to someone whose children go to high school in Florida.
All she talked about is how poor the school was and how few programs they had, and how the school needed more space because the classrooms were so crowded.
Before seeing the school I had this very negative picture in my head of a dilapidated 20-plus-year-old building that had 20 ft. by 10 ft. classrooms with 30-plus students in each and maybe a handful of teachers – each teaching multiple classes.
What I found was a large school building that was less than 10 years old, in beautiful condition, staffed with an army of teachers. The classrooms were about the size I pictured but they had hardwood floors instead of the cheap tile I'm used to, and each class only had 15 to 20 desks.
I went to high school in the city of Birmingham. When I went there my school was the newest in town at 23 years old. Classrooms were small and pie-shaped and each featured a sign on the wall that said the fire marshal had declared that no room could be occupied by more than 30 people. I had 32 in my smallest class and most of my teachers taught two or three subjects in addition to being involved in some sort of club or sport. We didn't complain much. Sure there were things we wish we had, and things we wish we didn't, but overall we didn't think our school was that bad. Especially compared to many other schools in Alabama.
I couldn't believe that in Florida there is a group of people that had more than they needed and weren't satisfied.
Maybe it's just a side effect of my upbringing but I'm just used to people being happy with what they've got, or at least making the best of it.
My Uncle Walt is sort of like that too. He was sick for a while last year so I called to see how he was doing. This is what he told me: "I woke up the other day and every part of my body was sore, I woke up yesterday and every part of my body was sore, I woke up today feeling great and thought, 'Holy heck, I'm dead.'"
As I've said before my grandmother always had a pretty positive outlook no matter how bad things were. I don't always have a positive outlook, I complain about some things, but I can deal with just about anything given time.
My school had gangs, drugs and guns and that lady was complaining a blue streak about not having an indoor swimming pool.
There's an old saying: "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man that had no feet."
It just goes to show you, the more you have, the more you have to complain about.
Lee Weyhrich is the Managing Editor of the Atmore Advance