No. 996



“One day I felt sorry for a man who had no shoes, then I saw a man who had no feet.” Within this simple statement is a principle that we would all do well to ponder from time to time. When we get to feeling sorry for ourselves, in the vast majority of cases there are others who are much worse off than we are. This is not to say that knowing about or seeing the misfortune of others does not diminish our pain, but it does help to keep things in perspective.
This is what I thought about recently when a friend sent me something titled, “They Walk Among Us.” This was a series of actual complaints received by “Thomas Cook Vacations” from dissatisfied customers. What these complaints actually showed is a lack of common sense on the part of these customers, and I suspect is far too prevalent in a large segment of society in general. As I have said many times in this column, common sense seems to be in short supply these days. You must understand that my personal philosophy is always to try to build people up, and not to tear them down. So what follows is actually a self-inventory to see if you need to think more before you speak or write, as it will certainly serve you well in the days to come.
Here we go, and it’s OK to smile a little as you read them. “No. 1 – We booked an excursion to a water park but no one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price. No. 2 – The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room. No. 3 – We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow. No. 4 – They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.
No. 5 - No one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared. No. 6 –Although the brochure said there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers. No. 7 – We went on a holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish. No. 8 – The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun. No. 9 – It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.
No. 10 – I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller. No. 11 – We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air conditioning. No. 12 – I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes. No. 13 (And here is the grand finale) – My fiancé and I requested twin beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room we booked. Then this piece has this final thought: Be aware … They walk among us and they vote!”
Well, for me, it is hard to believe there are people who are actually this dense, but I am sure there are. The question then becomes, why? Are they wired wrong? Did their parents or teachers fail them? Is this a condition that can be corrected by pointing out their lack of common sense, or maybe taking a course on reality training? It’s obvious that some people need help. Let’s do our best to help them.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)