Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living in a national park. One of the international students reminded me yesterday. His original goal for coming to work at Olympic was to make money; now, he says he doesn’t care as much because it is so beautiful here. It’s worth it to forgo some pay if it means being able to live in a place as beautiful as this.
I found myself especially lucky today. I was walking to the beach to make a phone call when I saw two deer up ahead. I walked closer, and they didn’t move. I right up next to them, and they walked a little, but weren’t scared. One walked right in front of me and crossed the street. It was such a simple experience that helped me to remember what a privilege it is to live and work here.
My friend’s comment also got me thinking about the nature of value. Many people here find a lot to complain about. Perhaps the food they get isn’t good enough, or the living quarters aren’t quite up to their standards (let’s forget, for a moment, that these things cost next to nothing for us to use). Maybe someone is being stupid at work, or in housing, or a customer was slightly rude, or we’re out of beer, or whatever.
I wish these sorts of people, who need to find something to complain about at every turn (seriously, the food is quite good, unlimited, and costs under $3 per meal), would step back and consider the value they receive from living in a place like this. Forgive me if I don’t have much sympathy for someone working in a national park that’s located in a state with a high minimum wage and no income tax.
I realize I might be coming across as bitter or hateful. I don’t mean to. I simply wish people would be a little more grateful. Sure, you might not be working front desk at the Ritz. You might be working 10 hour housekeeping shifts. You might be working for awful managers. But you’re making good money, you’re getting extremely inexpensive food and housing, and you’re living in a national park! Let’s have some perspective.