5 things in life that are underrated

I previously wrote about the things that I think are overrated. Here’s five things that I think are underrated:

Work—I see people complain about their jobs all the time on social media. But jobs are a good thing! They provide us with income; hopefully health insurance; and maybe a retirement plan, depending on your line of work. There is dignity in work and in someone paying you to do a task, whatever it might be. A job gives us somewhere to be, something to do and maybe even something to look forward to. If you have a job—any job—if nothing else, you’re getting paid. Be thankful you are able enough to work.

Being an American—Say what you will about the current or former leadership of the country, the status of the U.S. in today’s world or how our country’s best days are maybe behind us: It’s still a good thing to be an American. We’re still the greatest nation on Earth and still the leader of the free world. We are still a land of opportunity, but do we have some stuff to work on? You bet. I could write entire posts on the things we need to improve. However, we are the ones the world turns to in times of uncertainty; we are a force of good in the world; and we invented McDonald’s!

katniss1
My BFF, Katniss, our family pet, rides in my former car in the air conditioning.

Pets—Yes, pets are people, too, and they are vital parts of our households. Pets don’t judge us; they just love us unconditionally as long as we feed them and are nice to them. I’ve seen stories lately about people leaving animals behind during the various hurricanes that have hit the U.S., and I can’t imagine leaving my beloved Katniss in such a situation—I’d find a way to take her with me or ride out the storm with her. If having her with me during an evacuation or staying with her through a storm resulted in my own death, I’d happily die, just as I would for any person, if it meant she could be safe.

Clean water—Unless you live in Flint, Michigan, which still appears to be having trouble with its water quality, I’m betting the water that comes out of faucets where you live is probably at least of a decent quality. We could go to nearly any spigot or faucet in the U.S. and find clean water with which to drink or bathe. Not many countries can say that. Think about how much more difficult life would be if we had to boil all the water we used before consuming it or worry about the cleanliness of water nationwide.

AMC6
The author, seen here in elementary school circa 1985, lacked air conditioning in school for the next five years. Oh, the horror!

Air conditioning—I’ve always thought that without A/C, virtually no one would live in the South here in the U.S., especially here in Texas, which has two seasons: hot and less hot. A/C is in our homes, schools, cars and many workplaces these days, but it wasn’t always like that. My elementary school, built in the 1950s, lacked A/C, as did the middle school—which opened in 1922—my mom worked at for about 40 years. Parts of our high school lacked air conditioning, too—and it wasn’t that long ago my classmates and I were in school. Mom has told me about how her dad, in the 1950s, traveled throughout Texas as a salesman in the days when cars had no A/C, and that sounds like a special kind of hell to me, someone who is naturally warm to begin with. Of all the items on this list, A/C might be the most underrated.

Do you agree that these are underrated? What else is underrated?


Honorable mentions: pharmacies • modern medicine • the internet • hugs • exercise • that Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe as Robin Hood • kindness

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