Matt Heath: Quit moaning and enjoy the luxuries

Section
Blogs,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 October 2018, 9:30AM

A lot of us New Zealanders have it good. Comforts, security, entertainment, food, drink and travel. Yet many of these same people are our biggest complaining, moaning, bitching babies. Chronic dissatisfaction is rampant.

Last week I was shocked by two horrible examples. One was a very public airport lounge moaner, the other was me. But first, how come no matter how good life gets people find a way to be dissatisfied?

Yuval Noah Harriah wrote in Sapiens: "Some scholars compare human biochemistry to an air-conditioning system that keeps the temperature constant, come heatwave or snowstorm.

"Events might momentarily change the temperature, but the air-conditioning system always returns the temperature to the same set point."

As a result "luxuries tend to become necessities and spawn new obligations".

Meaning if you get underfloor heating in the bathroom it will briefly make you happier, but you'll soon take it for granted.

Then it becomes your new base level. If you lose your underfloor heating you will be more miserable than before you had it.

Over time you can't live without a whole bunch of expensive stuff you never needed in the first place. Some end up working themselves to death for luxuries they never needed.

But it's even worse than that.

When things get good we humans actually make up things to worry about.

As British comedian, Paul Foot put it, "In the trenches, you didn't have time to be wheat intolerant."

Last week Air New Zealand's Koru lounges were extremely busy. It was the school holidays and it turns out lots of Kiwis are lucky enough to be travelling.

More than a few have access to premium flight lounges. Fantastic bellwethers for our country.

But not everyone is happy. Last week an unnamed woman recounted to the Herald her harrowing koru ordeal.

It was so bad she said she wished she had never been let into the lounge in the first place.

It was packed with people over-piling plates of food and queuing for free alcohol.

All she could do was have a "glass of water" and leave.

I love the Koru. Friendly service, great cheeses, delicious drinks and some of the best soups in the country. But it's not one of life's basic needs. Unless of course, you are this lady. It would seem for her a luxury has become a necessity. Losing it hurt bad.

Well not quite losing it. She was still let in while others weren't. She did, however, have to look harder for a seat, wait behind people who had "over-piled" plates of food and deal with other humans queuing for the free alcohol. Actually alcohol they had paid for with their membership.

She could have described the lounge scene as "busy with people lining up for their food and drink". But she added the judgemental 'over-piling' and 'free' to her description.

Obviously, those points were important to her. To be happy in these lovely lounges she not only needs access but for people to put less on their plates and not queue for drinks. Poor, poor luxury-addicted whiner.

But I can't talk. Recently, I got an automatic gate. It felt so good the first time I pressed the remote and watched it magically open. Drove the car straight in. Then it broke.

I've been manually opening and shutting gates my entire life. We had to open and close three just to get a car up to the farmhouse I grew up in.

But having an automatic gate for one day changed me forever. When it broke my heart broke with it.

Opening a gate that had once opened itself hurts bad. It took two days to fix. Two long days. I had to manually open and close that gate an unbearable 4 times. Classic luxury addiction.

As the Rolling Stones say: "Hey, hey, hey. That's what I say. I can't get no satisfaction."

We live in the best time in history in the best place in the world. For many of us, life is good. Yet it doesn't stop the complaining.

Maybe it's time to harden up. If you're doing ok, maybe shut up and enjoy the luxuries you have. The conveniences.

Stop moaning your way around the on-suite bathrooms, sunny decks, second cars, big screens, heat pumps and ski holidays you have.

In the meantime, in case you are still worried about her. I'm going to start a Givealittle page for that poor woman who was slightly inconvenienced by other humans in the Koru last week. Our hopes and prayers are with her through this difficult time.

 

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.

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