You’re rich, connected and loved

If you’re reading this right now on a phone or a computer, you’re rich.

If you have somewhere to go today, you’re connected.

And if there is anyone, anywhere, who for any reason knows where you are at this moment, you’re loved.

This landed in my inbox a couple of months ago. I usually delete subscription emails but kept this one because I knew I would want to re-read those words again. And I did yesterday when it snowed in London for the first time in five years – like, properly snowed, with snow lasting long enough to create a white wonderland out of the grey winter streets. It had been forecast, but everyone was still surprised to see snowflakes waltzing in the air. Why anyone was surprised about the travel chaos that followed is another story, because it always does when snow happens.

Most people were genuinely excited because who knows when else you’ll be able to build a snowman, but some were grumpy. And you know who was the grumpiest of all in my social media feeds? The most privileged people out there.

One of them was flying from Italy and moaning about a 2-hour delay because Heathrow was struggling to remain operational in the snowy weather. Yes, it’s inconvenient, I know. But you’ve just flown from Italy, where you’ve had a great time, and you’ll be going to your big and warm house in central London, so even though I understand your disappointment I think millions of people have had it worse in life than you.

The other one was stuck on M11, driving back home from a birthday party in an English countryside. She also happens to be one of those influencers with tens of thousands of followers, to whom she tweeted that she was stuck in a car on a motorway with no food and drink and was grumpy af. One of the followers argued back that she had just bought an expensive house, is given free stuff every day and generally lives a life that most people cannot afford, so whinging was not cool. You can imagine the keyboard war that broke out.

It was sad to see. On the one hand, I’m all for people keeping it real on social media. On the other hand, it’s so easy to cross the line of the reality that most people can only dream of.

Some will say that just because someone is better off doesn’t mean they can’t be grumpy or angry. And of course, they can! Just be grumpy and angry about the real problems. You know, problems like poverty, inequality, discrimination, global warming, pollution, animal extinction, Trump still in the White House? Waiting two hours to fly from Italy because a snowmargedon hit London is not a real problem. It’s inconvenience. Not stopping at a service to get some food and drinks when you knew driving home would be disrupted in this weather is not a real problem. It’s lack of planning.

Billions of people on this planet can’t afford a plane ticket or a holiday or a car or a house or a million other things that us in the middle class in the developed countries take for granted.

Before we open our mouths – or rather, phone apps – to moan about trivial things, how about we take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we’re actually doing fine? Because, really-

If you’re reading this right now on a phone or a computer, you’re rich.

If you have somewhere to go today, you’re connected.

And if there is anyone, anywhere, who for any reason knows where you are at this moment, you’re loved.

Let’s be grateful for what we have and not grumpy about the weather that’s out of our control.

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