Somehow, I Lack Sympathy

I used to have a friend who would go into a rant every time he heard some band play a song about how life on the road sucked, and how horrible fame was.  He particularly loathed Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page,” but any other song like it would unleash a stream of profanity.  His opinion was that they’d asked for this, they’d gone into this seeking fame and fortune, and for them to now be whining in song about how much it all sucked was hypocritical, to say the least.   In looking at several recent news stories, I find myself in agreement with his sentiment, just in another arena.    I know I’m a liberal, and I’m supposed to have a “bleeding heart,” but somehow, I find that I’m distinctly lacking in sympathy when I read these stories.

The story was about Sean Parker, who’s worth a paltry 2.1 billion, from starting a company called “Napster,” and another little company called “Facebook.”  Yes, Sean has problems, and he wanted the Occupy Wall Street people to know just how much being rich sucked!

“You guys are really attacking me for being the 1%?” the former Facebook president tweeted. “I was broke and couch surfing just a few years ago… I have a whole new set of problems to deal with now: security, extortion attempts, kidnapping threats, death threats, etc. Life better b4?”

Wow, that’s terrible!

Yes, it’s awful being him.  The suffering of his lifestyle:

A lover of the good life, Parker maintains a collection of elegant white shoes, a closetful of Tom Ford suits, and a $100,000 Tesla electric sports car he never quite seems to have time to drive. He divides his nights between a San Francisco apartment and a palatial (rented) New York town house. Among its many amenities: a full, mowed lawn on a patio on the third of its five floors.

Um, well, let me see about that sympathy. Nope…

I’ve seen other stories about the wealthy complaining about their problems.   They’re pleading for sympathy for their plight, and generally my reaction is always the same.

I don’t have any.  If you’re never going to go hungry, if you’re never going to be without housing, if your kids are getting a good education at private schools, etc.,  I’m not terribly worried about you.   Yes, you have problems, but in the overall scheme of real life, they’re not that big a deal.  Try worrying about whether you’re going to have food on the table, if you’re going to have a place to stay, your kids are sick and you can’t afford a doctor or medicine, or whether you’re going to have lights or heat.  Those are real problems!  That’s what millions of people worry about every day.  They worry whether they’ll have  a job tomorrow, whether they can pay their bills, and put food on the table.   Those are things that people like Sean Parker will never have to worry about.  So when he complains, my reaction is

Or, as we used to say in the military:  “Looking for sympathy?  Check the dictionary.  It’s right before syphilis.”



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5 responses to “Somehow, I Lack Sympathy

  1. LOL! In the Navy they would tell people looking for sympathy to “see the chaplain.”

    I’m in total agreement with you about the whining rich. When Romney told people he was also “unemployed” I wanted to smack his smug face. These people have theirs and they don’t give a diddley dowahdo if others are suffering.

    • Exactly. Look, I have no problem with people becoming rich because they did something. Heck, I’m not even all that upset that people inherited wealth. But I have a big problem when they whine about it, and expect me (and people in my income bracket) to feel sorry for them. Tell them what, why don’t they spend a year or two being really poor, and then see how much they complain.

  2. trs

    I’ve been poor. I’ve wondered where I was going to get the money to pay all my bills – including medical – and eat at the same time. And this was when I had a “good” job with benefits. It’s amazing what a crashing relationship, months-long illness (even with insurance), and depression can do. I know exactly what you’re talking about, Norbrook. They get no sympathy from me.

    • Same here. I’ve lost a house, been bankrupt without a job, and worried about whether I was going to be able to eat. I didn’t grow up “well-off,” either. Now I’m not wealthy, but I have a job, money in the bank, a place to live, and I don’t worry about food. Sure, I still have problems, yes, I could be doing better, but I consider myself lucky, and I’m not complaining. I know what it’s like to have real problems, so any have now are minor things. That’s why when I hear someone who never has – or will – face anything like that in their life moan about how tough their life is, I’m not in the mood to hear it.

  3. Ditto! I think Hubby and I probably grew up way less than “well off” although we never thought of ourselves as “poor.” We’ve had some rough scary times over the years but we are blessed to have a roof over our heads, enough to pay for our modest needs and some put by to help the family, others, or our own selves in special need.

    I learned a long time ago the difference between needs and wants. I am blessed that my needs have most always been met sometimes in almost miraculous ways.