It's incredibly easy to become so wrapped up in our own lives, with specific needs and desires, that we break down into whining children when something doesn't go quite the way we want it to. I'm not going to write another one of those "look how good we've got it" essays, instead I merely want to share a couple of experiences I've had lately.
First, our dishwasher died. Far too soon, if you ask me, as it had a relatively much shorter life than the other major appliances in my home, but it was also a troubled child from the start, so maybe my hopes were too high. I also wasn't very happy about having to buy a new one, as opposed to paying about 80% of that amount to a repairman to fix the troublemaker. There was a considerable amount of pressure on me to get it replaced though; you see, my wife doesn't like to wash the dishes by hand. Neither do I, come to think of it. But the dishwasher had spoiled us - we hadn't always had one. When we (I) finally broke down and bought one about 5 years ago, there was great joy and glee in the house. Look at all our extra free time now! Look at my (her) non-dishpan hands!
Fast forward to present day, and the few days we were without a dishwasher were very tense. I became exceedingly concerned that I (my wife) might have to wash a sink full of dishes BY HAND. This great revelation came to me as I was laying on an inflatable raft, drifting around in the pool in my backyard on a beautful sunny weekend day, listening to my daughter splash and play in the water. There I was, relaxed, content, happy. It was then that it occurred to me that there are people out there not as fortunate as I am: they don't have dishwashers. Heck, they probably don't even have pools, although mine is the $300 above ground variety and nothing to drive up the price of my tiny 1,000 sq ft home.
But it sure makes my life more enjoyable.