Are you an asshole too?

It is only when you come home from a third world country, that you can truly see how #soblessed we are. Like, you can brush your teeth using tap water without fear of getting some horrendous stomach bug that might see you lose your life. Spending time in rural, remote Cambodian villages last week, I could not help but wonder why and how did I even get the chance to be born? Let alone be born in a country with such social benefits like ours is.

So I thought a little bit about chance and probability. And I thought about just how lucky I am to be here, and how lucky you are to be born too.

Did you know that the chance of being born is one in 400 Trillion? It is like the luckiest lotto in the world that we have won. Also, to break it down even further, there is more than 200 million sperm in each ejaculation. When you look at these numbers, its a fucking miracle that you are even here. Reading my blog. Right now, that is what you are doing. Wow!

Perhaps I have had too much time cruising up the Mekong River to ponder such things, but it has made me realise that the simple things in life are often the best.

I woke up this morning, a miracle in itself. Many people don’t get that simple pleasure. My kids and dog and cat all came into bed with me, as I listened to Mr. Woog whizz off to work on his motorbike. We had some supreme snuggle time, before I pulled out my Chuy China and made the first of three coffees I required to get though the breakfast, lunch making, school run routine. I received a text from my cleaner, apologising for the sub-par job that she did yesterday morning. after I texted her first to complain.

I am a complete asshole.

I am a lucky asshole.

I have hot water coming from the taps. I have a health care system that works for us. The government, who mostly I loathe, pays for my kids hearing aids and batteries. I can afford for my kids to pursue their love of dancing, tennis and rugby. And yet some days I look at my face in the magnifying mirror and consider getting botox in my forehead. My hair is peppered with silver highlights and when it really starts to annoy me, I whack a box of colour through it.

Mr Woog and I argue, mainly about money. We worry about how the hell our kids are ever going to get ahead in life. The simple cost of living is getting quite ridiculous. You pay one dollar for an apple, which you put in your kids lunchbox, which comes back every afternoon uneaten. It irritates me.

But I send them off to school, drink my coffee, look at my wrinkles and turn on my computer. I take a brain dump on this blog, while listening to ABC Radio. People call in to complain about the most outrageous stuff. When Wendy has finished her show, I turn over to Chris Smith, whose readers are extremely whiney. Sometimes I feel life reaching into the radio and dish out a good face slap. But mind you, I felt like giving myself a face slap after I got overly irritated because my Woolworths delivery came without my bagels this morning.

I am a complete asshole.

I am a lucky asshole.

Are you an asshole too?

How often do you check your privilege?

  • Gotcha… I watched Dateline on SBS last night. Program about ObamaCare and Trump thinking to shut it down… People who can only access health care and medications SINCE the ACA came in, who won’t be able to get insurance if any of the health care plans Trump is outlining go through, and who will DIE.
    I’m on a medication that costs $1700 a month. I don’t pay for that. We have the PBS. If I had to pay for it out of my own pocket, I wouldn’t be getting it, and I’d be in a wheelchair by now. My RA is unlikely to kill me, but it sure as hell could leave me in shitloads of pain, and horribly disabled. And I’ve not counted up how much the rest of my meds would cost without the PBS…I don’t want to know.
    So, while Medicare and the PBS aren’t perfect, and there are people who can’t get the drugs they need, on the whole, it’s WAY better than what the folk in America have access to and I have to remember that when I’m grizzling.

  • Lucky arsehole here. Good to check privilege at every opportunity. That’s why we have made it a practice to take our kids to developing countries. I try to avoid talk back radio and also reading the comments on social media. Don’t give me shit about not having enough in Australia. Visit a developing country and see what real poverty is. I am unbelievably fortunate to have been born in a wealthy country ..not to wealthy parents but in a country that has provided me with education, healthcare, opportunity and a safety net should it all go to shit.

  • Highcar

    I complained indignantly to Coles online that my watermelon delivery was squashed. They credited it back with an apology. Later I realised it was $2. What an asshole! I have just been to India. The tip of a hotel we stayed in at the beginning of the trip was the luxury accommodation by the end. On day 2 I realised how lucky we were to have hot showers. By day 17 I was thankful we had running water. I would have happily eaten off an Australian floor by the time I got home.

  • JP

    Good on you for articulating this healthy perspective. Most of us are indeed incredibly fortunate. I’m so saddened by the terrible conditions that many in the world are born into. What chance do they have? Life’s such a lottery.

  • Mellou

    My four year old recently piped up from the back seat “life is good”. When we asked her what she liked about it she said “I like the sun is shining and riding in the car and looking out the window.” She was truly happy. Trying to be more like a kid and find the joy and being grateful for the little things.

  • Heidi D

    As most people do I occasionally find myself complaining about something small & pointless. When I catch myself I give myself a good talking too. I am incredibly lucky to have survived at birth at all. I am lucky to be living in the country I am in with amazing healthcare that keeps my dodgy heart & lungs going. I am sitting in a waiting room at St Vincents hospital in Sydney at the moment, lucky to have the skilled medical people here that can do the regular tests that watch what the dodgy heart is doing. It is quite often the little things we take for granted until we are in a position to see others without

  • Sally Rose

    Too true Mrs Woog. We are all products of our environments. It doesn’t hurt to stop and think about other environments occasionally.

  • Think you should add ‘deep thinking, compassionate arsehole’ to the list of ‘arseholeness’. The scales need tipping a bit more in your favour. ?

  • Oh I think all of us in the first world have a bit of asshole in us. It’s so easy to get caught up and forget how fortunate we are. Someone always has it worse. I try to be one of those ‘gratitude’ wankers to keep myself in check.

  • whicocan

    As a woman I think about how I am in the top @5% of the female population in the world. Being born white in North America, Europe, Australia or New Zealand where I have rights and privileges like no one can own me, I have the right to vote and I can own property. I have access to clean running water, shelter, heat/cool, decent food, medical care, education etc. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like we still have a long way to go to get to gender equality but when I think what my life might be like were I born elsewhere…..I am profoundly grateful and hope that I make good use of my privilege and help spread those rights to others in the world.
    Off my soap box now but this strikes a cord with me, just ask anyone around me.

  • Wendy

    Great post! When I catch myself – or my 4yo grizzling I try to remind myself they are generally first world problems! Definitely agree that you are a compassionate wonderful human and I count myself lucky to have met you 🙂

  • Lifeandlentils

    I went to a market research gig a few months back, it was about a new government commercial. I was all upbeat about it and gave great reviews but everyone else was whinging about the Sydney traffic, the wait at hospitals etc… the difference… living four years in a third world country makes everything the NSW government does look amazeballs. Public hospitals in Delhi have at least two people per bed in the emergency ward, that’s if your not on the floor in the hallway. We are so so lucky to be able to live in this amazing countries and be able to make choices about our lives. I could go on and on.

  • Sharon

    We really do live in the lap of luxury. I tell my kids they are so lucky and should use all of the opportunities freely available to them – education, the right to vote, the right of women to live autonomously. Working in a children’s hospital is also a massive dose of perspective. It’s easy to be an asshole when you’re busy, working, kids, rat race etc. this blog post is a great reminder. Love all the comments too ??

  • Great perspective. We truly are lucky/blessed. x