Is Anything All Right?

Hank Mattimore
Reproduced with Permission

Scott Neeson tells the story in The Christian Science Monitor. The former head of 20th.Century Fox International in Hollywood, was in the middle of Phnom Penh's most notorious slum witnessing the unnerving sight of poor children hunting through the garbage for salvage they could sell.

At the time still working for Hollywood, Neeson happened to be on his cell phone listening to the complaints of one of his high priced clients. The man was angry that the private jet provided him lacked the high quality in-flight entertainment to which he was accustomed.

"There I was," said Neeson, "standing there in that humid, stinking garbage dump, with children sick with typhoid and this guy was refusing to get on a Gulfstream IV because it lacked the type of entertainment he wanted

That was a life changing moment for the one time multi-millionaire, who now devotes his life to improving the lives of some of Cambodia's most impoverished kids. Neeson sold his mansion in L.A., his Porsche, his yacht and "all the useless stuff I owned" and is using his money to educate and provide food and shelter for hundreds of poor kids.

Most of us are not in a position to sell our worldly goods and take off to the slums of third world countries (I suspect that the value of what we as individuals sold is not going to change the lives of many poor children anyway) but I hope that we can all have the grace to be grateful for all the gifts we do have in our country.

I guess it is human nature, but isn't it a kick in the pants to hear Americans constantly complaining about the stuff we DON'T have. Worse still is when we catch ourselves doing the same thing. Alas! I can't afford to buy a new smart phone or pay for that cruise to Hawaii. Poor baby. Pass the steak and potatoes, please.

My scripture professor used to quote the Jewish prophets referring to the chosen people as a "stiff necked people," because no matter what God did for them they found fault. Well, the Jews have plenty of company. Instead of living in a spirit of gratitude for all the blessings we have received, we manage to find a reason to gripe.

A friend of mine had the right attitude. Old Fred used to greet me every day with "Hey Hank, Is ANYTHING all right?" That beats the hell out of our usual "Is everything all right" greeting doesn't it? It sort of turns our focus from searching for what we don't have to the things we have. Know what I mean?