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Whiners can simply move along

Recently, I was visiting a friend who is attending an Alabama college. While I was there I heard a student who was from a northern state ranting and raving about how everything in the South was backward and what an ignorant bunch we were.

Funny, this person seemed to think enough of our fine state to attend college here.

When something like this happens I find it hard to contain my inner dialogue.

Anyone that knows me very well knows that I love this state. There is no place that I would rather be.

To hear someone put down my state, or our region in general, gets me hot under the collar.

I let this person know that the last time I checked this particular school was not a correctional facility. All of its students were free to come and go as they pleased.

I also informed them that they had perfectly good schools up in the "promised land" that they spoke of.

Perhaps my reaction was a little harsh. Maybe I should have just stayed quiet. But after about 30 minutes I had heard enough.

This is something that I have seen all too often. People come to a certain college with the attitude that they are coming to a third world country to rescue its people and teach them the wonders of fire and the wheel.

It's very disrespectful and very annoying.

This is not true of everyone. The best friend I have ever had and probably will ever have came down South from Michigan.

This person never complained. He just made friends and eventually even found his wife here.

Another friend from Indiana did the same. She never complained, she just adjusted.

When you get down to it your regional background isn't really a factor.

It's all about having a positive attitude and being receptive to the people around you.

What you shouldn't do is waste your time complaining.

The Southeastern United States in unlike any other place in the world.

We have some of the best food, the friendliest people and the most entertaining festivals known to man.

Where else can you stop for a tank of gas and get some of the best fried chicken you have ever eaten?

Where else can you be a part of an event like Mardi Gras?

Obviously, this person hadn't taken the time to find the positives.

The point that I am trying to make is that there are perfectly nice people anywhere you go.

But if you spend your time with a scowl on your face you are never going to find them.

I have seen a lot of strangers in a lot of strange lands.

Some were willing to go with the flow and others built an invisible shell.

For all of you graduating seniors this is an especially important thing to keep in mind.

Your work or education will take you to many places. Make the most of it. Never be afraid to make new friends.

Remember, most importantly of all, no one likes a complainer.

Whining is the fastest way to become a very lonely person.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick. couch@greenvilleadvocate.com.