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It reminds me of the frustration I feel when U.S. citizens are not grateful for what they have, but instead want more. When I point out that all it takes to be in the 1% worldwide is to earn $32,400 a year, some friends will do anything in their power to negate the fact that they were born into a privileged society. One woman spoke as though she felt sorry for herself because she is middle-class; she thinks the rich have it good because they’re rich, and the poor qualify for programs that she can’t qualify for because they’re poor, so she thinks the middle class gets the shortest end of the stick. I think it’s crazy to complain when her family is making more money than 99% of the world, even if her cost of living is high. I’m not sure what it is about U.S. culture that makes some people think they don’t have enough to share when they really have so much more than huge chunks of the world population. Maybe it’s because they look at multi-millionaires with private jets and think they deserve that too, rather than looking at people in SE Asia working for $7.50 a day and thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Studies have shown that the only way to increase personal happiness in a lasting way is to help others voluntarily, so I guess the great news is that giving is its own reward, even if some people never discover that in this lifetime.

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