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Is Being Taken For Granted Taken For Granted?

Oct 30, 2007
My grandmother told me I could take her anywhere - except for granted. Microwaves, TiVo's, iphones, Swifters - things I use automatically would have changed my grandmother's life.

On the other hand - the one with the tea cozy in it - things my grandmother had would have changed my life too - things like first class postage costing two cents an ounce, gas costing a few cents a gallon, food that tasted home cooked because it was cooked at home and laundry that smelled April fresh because one month a year it was.

For my grandmother electricity was a miracle. For me it's just there - there when I turn on the lights, turn down the heat or turn up the air conditioning. When the electricity goes off, however, I'm back in my grandmother's time - a time without multi-tasking.

My grandmother lived a slower life. She didn't have to worry about taking time to stop and smell the roses because she grew roses. Some of the things which made the good, old days good are left behind by progress; but today will be considered one of the good, old days by the next generation.

I think every generation should see our country the way foreigners see it. Yes, it's too crowded in places - yes, there's air pollution in places; but what foreigners see is hope.

What I see is that we all think we're taken for granted and we are. It's not a persecution complex. It's reality. When it happens to me, I try to take it as an unspoken compliment about how well I do something. I try, but it doesn't always work. Now that John is sharing the cooking, he realizes food doesn't magically appear on the table. Now he tells me I'm a wonderful cook. Yes, John has changed. His nose has gotten longer.

No matter how long friendships are, we don't spend long enough telling our friends how important they are to us. Thankfully, one of the definitions of a friend is someone who doesn't expect speeches of appreciation and gratitude.

Then there's parenthood. It goes without saying - but not without complaining - that our children assume we are their tutors, chauffeurs, chaperones, financers, social secretaries and bakers - or buyers - of dozens and dozens of cookies. We don't appreciate our parents until we are parents. That's when our parents get to appreciate grandchildren - the ones who will take us for granted.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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