(Raising children is no easy task. When my children whine and complain about insignificant shit, I generally will try to help them achieve perspective by reminding them of what kids in other countries don’t have. I didn’t pick Africa for any special reason, it just always seems that poor Africans are more publicized than poor people in other countries. I mean no disrespect to the fine people of Africa and it sounds better than saying, “Kids in Bosnia….”.)
When my children complain about what’s for dinner, cleaning their rooms, what we are doing during the weekend or what we are going to do on vacation, I may say the following:
- Well, you should feel lucky; kids in Africa have never even seen pizza. Their idea of pizza is a dung beetle covered in Sahara sand, washed down with a few drops of their own urine.
- Well, you should feel lucky, kids in Africa take their showers in a waterfall jumping over crocodiles and rhinos that are trying to eat them.
- Well, you should feel lucky, kids in Africa don’t even have a room to clean. Instead, they get to clean the empty hyena carcasses left over from the hunt to make jackets for them to stay warm at night.
- Well, you should feel lucky, kids in Africa don’t even have Ipods and have no idea who Justin Beiber is. (My bad, the kids in Africa win that one.)
- Well, you should feel lucky, kids in Africa don’t even have toilets to flush, instead they dig a hole in the ground underneath a briar patch and hope a rival tribe doesn’t kidnap them and force them into becoming a child soldier.
True story, one day my oldest daughter said, “There is a girl in my class who is from Africa and she has an Iphone, takes normal showers and loves pizza.”
HOLY, FUCKING, SHIT, I thought to myself, my gig is up. I’ve never claimed to be the best parent, but I always try to teach my children some valid life perspective. If you have better ideas please let me know.