I like watching those shows on HGTV where people shop for their first home. I always lose it when I see some 25 year old engaged couple rejecting a house because it only has “two bathrooms” or “not enough space for a formal dining room.” It’s banal and insidious and makes me shudder.
When I think about it, that’s a lot like how we judge and make complaints about other people. Deep down there’s no other explanation but entitlement. I mean, have you ever once thought that you’d be willing to trade something you do appreciate in someone in exchange for the thing you’re complaining about?
Our grievances against other people are mostly rooted in this tendency to take what we do get for granted and whatever else we want as justly deserved. It’s a petty kind of narcissism shined over with rationalizations about social cues or the ‘future of customer service’ or reciprocity. And when I look at it that way, I realize there isn’t much honor in criticism, just greed.