Why so unhappy?

23 02 2010

One of the things that I get a kick out of is listening to people who cannot, and will not, find anything positive about their lives.
Actually, it makes me want to pull my hair out.
I’ll admit, I’m a local news junkie, which is why I spend some Tuesday nights watching Amsterdam Common Council meetings on TV, watching other public access TV shows (when they’re actually on), and listening to local radio call-in talk shows.
Professionally, I tune in so I can get a better grip on what’s going on and what’s on people’s minds. Personally, I think the participants and hosts have one common theme:
Everything sucks. There’s nothing good about my life. There’s nothing good about the community I live in. And it’s all everyone else’s fault.
Really? If that’s the case, then I have a couple of questions for you people who think everything is so terrible.
Did you wake up this morning in a warm bed? Did you wake up wondering if you will eat today? Can you take a crap in a toilet that flushes?
Look, I get the concern about high taxes. I get it. It’s a problem, and one that has to be addressed.
I get the concerns about the migration of people from New York to other states. This isn’t a business-friendly or people-friendly state.
But it’s not all bad, although there are people out there who would like you to think it is. So I have to ask, why?
Easy. Here’s why I think so many people are so negative all the time:
1. They want things to go back to the way they were. Here’s a newsflash, they won’t. The mills and factories are not coming back to upstate New York. The people who were able to hold power during those times won’t hold that kind of power again because they’re either dead, too old, or so out of touch that they sound clueless when they publicly rant and rave about how things suck.
2. They fear change. They’re afraid of the fact that there are non-whites living in their community, or that the “good ol’ boys” aren’t running things, so their racist and sexist tendencies come out. Case in point: A former Montgomery County supervisor said the mayor of Amsterdam, who happens to be a woman, said she should “go back into the kitchen where she belongs.” Whenever the subject of public benefits and welfare pop up, all we hear about is “the Spanish,” except I didn’t realize Spain was the largest source of immigrants in this area. They probably mean Hispanics, but the fact that the naysayers can’t even get the nationality right shows their pure ignorance and stupidity.
What kills me the most is that there are media outlets that not only provide a forum that allows these types of sentiments to be spewed, they, in fact, encourage it.
3. They don’t want to get involved. A lot of these naysayers use various forums to bitch and moan about how things are so terrible, but ask them to get involved, and they won’t. In fact, most of them won’t even use their real names when they participate in online forums, and nearly every bitchy caller on local talk shows is allowed to keep their anonymity.
That’s because it’s easier to stand on the sidelines and gripe instead of getting in the game and making a contribution.

Is it any wonder that New York state is considered to be one of the most miserable states to live in?
Look, conditions in this state are not ideal. I understand that. People pay a lot of taxes and get little in return.
But it’s not that bad of a place to live and raise a family. Instead of constantly griping about how much things suck, how about offering solutions to make things better?

Or would asking you to think be too much for you to handle?