Hang In There! You Live In The Richest Nation In The World!Commentary • patriotism • Opinion • ISSUE 37•39 • Oct 31, 2001 By Darcy Wyatt Darcy Wyatt Ever have "one of those days"? You know the kind: The boss is screaming, "I want it yesterday!," the kids have the flu, and your hair is sticking up on end like Don King's. Well, on those days, it's important to keep things in perspective. After all, you live in the richest, most powerful nation in the whole gosh-darn world! You may have a run in your pantyhose, and the floor of your car may be covered with a week's worth of Styrofoam coffee cups, but you shouldn't be a frowny Frank. Keep that chin up, and remember that our country has more than 1.3 million military personnel on active duty and the most advanced weapons systems on Earth. That should turn anyone's frown upside down. Even on a Monday—heck, even on a rainy Monday—our nation has nearly three times the purchasing power of Japan, which has the world's second largest economy. That's gotta make you smile. So hang in there! Speaking of "Hang In There!," have you ever seen the poster with the picture of the kitten hanging from the branch? I have it on the wall of my cubicle at the insurance agency. It reminds me to keep reaching for the stars, even when I feel discouraged. Sure, life's an uphill battle. Sometimes, you want to throw your hands up and say, "I give up!" But at those moments, you owe it to yourself to give it another try. Psst... I've got a secret remedy for a case of the blues. First, buy yourself a treat. Ice cream, flowers, a foot-massage kit—it doesn't matter what, so long as it's something you love. Then, take a look at the latest statistics from the World Health Organization. At least in your country, you don't have a one-in-three chance of being HIV-positive, like the people in some places! Did you know that AIDS will account for 44.7 percent of adult deaths in South Africa this year and is projected to account for 78.6 percent by 2010? Not in America, though! That's why, around these parts, every day is a rainbow day! Sometimes, it feels like I can't do anything right. This morning, for example, I dropped my toast on the floor. (Guess which side it landed on.) Then, when I got to work, I realized I'd forgotten my desk keys—again! I was this close to getting seriously down on myself when I remembered something I definitely have done right in my life: I was born in the U.S.A.! Just think where I could've been born: North Korea, Estonia, Cambodia, Burkina Faso. I could be dead by now, killed by starvation, malaria, tidal wave, rebel insurgents, drought, civil war, well poisoning, a land mine... I won't bore you, but the list goes on and on! You know that old saying, "Life begins at 40"? Well, not in Sierra Leone! The life expectancy there is 38! I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto! Did you know that the U.S. makes up only 4 percent of the world's population, yet we have one third of its automobiles and consume one-quarter of its energy supply? Keep that in mind the next time you get passed over for that big promotion at work! Now, I'm not saying I never complain. There are lots of things that make me mad. Like waiting in line. It drives me absolutely batty! Doesn't it seem like every time you get in line at the post office, the line you pick winds up moving half as fast as the one next to it? But if you switch to the other line, the one you'd been in suddenly starts moving! At times like that, I just close my eyes and think about our country's 3.9 million miles of paved roads, enough to circle the Earth at the equator 157 times. Yes, whenever I need a super-duper pick-me-up, I just think about my elite status as an American citizen. That never fails to put the feather back in my cap. Sure, there's a war going on and lots of other problems, but let's keep in mind that over the past 20 years, our economy has grown at a faster rate than at any other time in our history. That means when Friday comes, it's time to celebrate with a happy-hour raspberry margarita at Applebee's! Why not? I'm from America, the wealthiest country in the entire world!