Who’s a spoiled brat? You are.
So am I. Everybody is.
Consider how infinitely blessed our lives are. Even in the midst of recession, illness, heartache, and all the other “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to,” at any given time, we still enjoy more blessings than we could possibly count.
Fairly few major advances were made anywhere worldwide for hundreds and even thousands of years, compared to the those made during the lifetimes of many still living. Any of us, right now, could go to the nearest grocery store and find a wider variety of fresher food, for a relatively lower cost, than would have been available anywhere in the world a mere century ago. Widely available electricity, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, antibiotics, and refrigeration alone make the last few generations especially blessed, compared to all the rest of history.
We take for granted a standard of living superior to that of royalty throughout most of world history. We’re constantly surrounded by such a bounty of wonders that, for anyone reading this, our everyday lives would have seemed miraculous to our grandparents when they were our age, and impossible to their grandparents at any age. Throw in our vastly advanced achievements in transportation and communications, and we actually live lives richer than those of the gods of ancient mythologies.
But does this make us spoiled? Absolutely. How often and how fully do we appreciate the amazing nature of even our most mundane moments? How often do we even try? Do we make the most out of the best of these blessings? Do we thank God for them? Do we share them? Here’s one where I particularly fall short: do we let the relatively few adversities and discouragements of life distract us from the wonderful big picture?
To the degree that any of us indulges in foul moods, is not consistently expressing gratitude, is not enjoying the goodness around us, and is hoarding these blessings, yes, we are spoiled. It may well be said that one of the chief missions we each have in life is to overcome that spoiled status, but it is a long work and, as we are so infinitely blessed and so entrenched in our brattiness, it will be a hard work; as a Book of Mormon prophet said of those who were being made aware of their spiritual blessings:
And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
Truly, from whatever perspective we look at it, we are spoiled, and need to conquer the attitude. Ever seen those bumper stickers that say, “I’m not spoiled, just well taken care of?” Think again, buster.