A couple of years ago, while complaining about something on social media, a high school classmate of mine made a comment that was very profound. He simply commented, “First world problems.”
That very simple statement gave me an instant reality check.
I remember it quite often, and even share the comment with others who have momentarily lost perspective of how truly blessed they are.
I couldn’t tell you what it was I had been going on about, but I can give you a perfect example…
A few years back, according to the electric company, our house (or backyard, or somewhere very close by) took a lightning strike. We lost the upstairs AC, garage door opener, big screen TV, Wii, internet router, direct TV, printer, Amazon Firestick, the porch refrigerator and our kitchen refrigerator. It was a little overwhelming, and frustrating, to say the least. The refrigerator was the biggest expense and the most inconvenient, and I felt like crying.
Then, “First world problems” ran through my mind.
Oh, how TRUE that is.
Everything I just mentioned is a luxury. Yes, you could say the refrigerator is a necessity, but think about it. There are people in the world who don’t even have a refrigerator! When I remembered to count my blessings instead of getting upset about our losses (which we were eventually able to replace), it really put things into perspective for me.
We had a roof over our heads, lights, running water and non-perishable food in the house.
Check out theses statistics:
· The World Economic Forum says: In 2021, 150 million people were homeless worldwide.
· The Water Project says: Globally, 1 in 9 people still have no access to clean water.
· Answers.com says: Only 17% of the world population own a refrigerator.
· World Hunger says: about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2016.
· On a non-political note: consider the devastation happening within the Israel/Hamas conflict.
Those statistics are staggering, saddening, humbling, and extremely eye opening.
Was the lightning strike at our house an inconvenience? Sure it was. Was it life altering, or devastating? Nope. It is a bump in the road for us. In the grand scheme of life, it’s really no big deal.
How many times have you become extremely upset over something that may seem like a major issue at the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, is really no big deal? Probably many, go ahead, you can admit it. You can even get upset about it, in the moment. However, if you stop and think “First world problems,” you’ll realize that, even in the circumstance you find yourself, there is something that you can count as a blessing.
When you put things in the proper perspective,
you can look at them and say, “Yup, first world problems.” Take a deep breath and smile.