Living in the western world, I will say there are a few things we can’t stand but have no business complaining about. And we know this, and are thoroughly aware of our privilege (most of the time).
Although, we do have to learn to check ourselves every now and then, when we believe we are experiencing a ‘first world problem.’ Like the folks in the following anecdotes do…
Care to read more first world problems – you can find the original thread at the end of the article.
Back when we lived in Honolulu, there was an eccentric Japanese billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto who was feuding with his neighbors.
He had bought over 30 properties in one of the most prestigious areas of the city, paying millions of dollars for each. His neighbors sued him for not maintaining them properly.
In response, he had installed gaudy garden sculptures everywhere. And – oh, the horror! – he let 3 homeless families live in some of his properties for free.
I see the neighbors point of view and all, but the statements that were made to newspapers were hysterical.
Like, it’s the worst thing in the world. Worse than Hitler.You own an oceanfront mansion that’s worth millions of dollars. You live in a certifiable paradise. And the thing that is devastating your life is your billionaire neighbors garden lions?
In Northern Ireland, there was a government initiative to encourage companies to use renewable power. They did this by giving people some money for each unit of electricity they used that came from renewable sources. So far so good.
However the amount of subsidy turned out to be more than the cost of the renewable energy. Thus, if you used renewable energy, you ended with more money than you started.
As a result, an ad reads:
Renewable Heat Incentive Report
Amount whistleblower claims one farmer was aiming to collect over 20 years for heating an empty shed.
In some parts of the world, people are starving. Some people have no clean water. Some suffer from heat or cold. And yet in the west, we are making money from heating empty buildings.
A woman I know once told me, whining, that her diamond stud earring was scratching the glass on her new iPhone.
The stress mothers go through in London to throw elaborate, expensive birthday parties with entertainers, goodie bags, expensive catered venues – FOR THREE YEAR OLD CHILDREN!
They all hate doing it but go along with it because all the other mothers do it. I don’t know anyone who even remembers their third birthday!
Finding an under-utilized wifi signal!
There are so many wireless devices around, you can hardly find a free signal for your home router. I can see 15 plus hotspots in the vicinity.
This affects Wifi performance and quality negatively.
In college, I frequently heard peers or students complain about their parents not giving them enough money to spend.
It’s kind of a multi-dimensioned “first world problem”, but I was mostly shocked their parents gave them an allowance at all.
Asking my parents for money during college never really crossed my mind.
There was once a reality T.V show that put rich, over-privileged kids against the very poor. The show unfortunately aired only one season – I’m sure when other rich kids saw it, the producers couldn’t get any more participants as the premise originally pitched to the rich kids to get them on the show ended up being very different than what the show was.
Anyway, two of the rich kids (one of them being the daughter of a Saudi Prince) were having a discussion about the quality of the water in the house they were staying in and how it was bad for her hair. The Saudi Prince daughter responds back, “we should talk to them about having Evian pumped through the pipes.”
I awaited a sarcastic laugh from someone – anyone – of the rich kids in the room. Instead, I saw a bunch of head nods in agreement that this in fact should be the solution to keeping their hair shiny.
The rich are different from you and I.
ANYTIME people start talking about gas prices in the U.S., I roll my eyes.90% of the people in the world don’t even own a personal automobile.
Furthermore, while driving around Europe, we never paid less than $8 per gallon and often paid somewhere around $10. In the U.S. people are OUTRAGED if it creeps close to $5 a gallon.
The price of fuel for a personal vehicle is a first world problem, American people, and you don’t even have it “that” bad compared to other first world countries who don’t complain (as much). Instead they walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation. THE HORROR!
The point is, fuel IS cheap here and you are beyond lucky to have a vehicle to put it in. It’s a fact. The price, whatever it may be, IS a first world problem, meaning you have to learn to laugh at yourself and develop a little awareness and perspective of the bigger picture when you feel like complaining about it.
My grandparents have a nice country house in southern Italy. A few decades ago, before I was born, the house went under a quite big renovation and went from a traditional farmhouse into a more modern and enjoyable one. One of the most important changes was the construction of a swimming pool where previously the hen-house was standing.
The architect must have been not really farsighted as, with the passing of the years, the trees to the west of the pool kept growing taller and taller overshadowing a part of the pool in the hours preceding the sunset.
Some time ago, I recall telling one of my cousins how bothersome it was, in the late afternoon, I couldnt sunbathe and swim in the same time, because the sun was hidden by the leaves of the neighboring trees. A few seconds later, my lips curled into an amused smile, thinking about how ridiculous the words I had just said were.
When I was a medical student I worked in a mobile phone customer service call centre. One customer phoned up to complain her phone wasn’t working, so after trying a variety of troubleshooting options, I decided she needed to send the handset in to be looked at.
This was going to involve either bringing in the phone to a shop or sending it to the service centre. Either way, even if a temporary replacement was supplied when the original phone was received she was going to have to do without a phone for a day or so.
Not happy with this she suddenly proclaimed “OK, you don’t understand, my phone is my life…I am literally DEAD without my phone!”
Considering some of the things I was witnessing during my hospital placements during the day, the customer didn’t garner too much sympathy with this ridiculous remark.
On May the 2nd 2016, Kim Kardashian posted the following tweet:
Ok it’s 2am just finished my spray tan. I’m so exhausted.
Now, I don’t want to sound pessimistic or negative or something, but how is this woman even being taken seriously?
We have children dying of bomb attacks in Aleppo, billions of people are starving and there are millions of broken homes.
However, the exhaustion stems from a spray tan. Boggles my mind.
The office where I work doesn’t have a water cooler or provide bottled water. I caught myself the other day whining about how I had to walk all the way across the street to buy water from a drugstore.
Somewhere in Somalia or Sudan, a little girl would have flipped me off as she walked three miles through militia-controlled territory, risking rape and murder for a couple buckets of water.
Every weekend, my parents and I spend almost an hour making just one decision.
This decision is incredibly important and requires immediate attention. If one of us shoots a potential answer, it is usually immediately shot down if the other two dont agree.
Sometimes, it turns into a full-fledged argument, complete with raised voices and erratic hand gestures.It usually ends with one party giving up, one victoriously grinning and the other not caring anymore.
Deals are made to heed the other persons idea next time, but next time is almost always accompanied by a new fight.
Im talking about deciding which restaurant we should go for lunch.
Our very blue collar, very tiny rural town doesn’t have its own school system. So the larger, very wealthy town near ours is where my kids go to school.
In fourth grade, my daughter actually overheard one of her classmates say to another – keep in mind, that they are like 9 years old – “I can’t believe I only have an iPhone 4! It’s so ridiculous my parents expect me to go to school without an iPhone 5.”
Too many to care about. All cyclical argument. But, these are frequent ones I observe:
At a coffee shop, someone saying that their day is ruined because Starbucks had a long line and other coffees are ‘eww.’
People complaining that they are tired of seeing so many on the bus when the service is provided close to free of cost.
And then whining that they don’t have a car. That classes are early in the morning. When there are children in developing countries not getting a daily meal let alone education.
Deciding which brand of detergent or soap to buy at a grocery store.
There are many places in this world, where you cant get any.In the grocery store, your options are abundant.
Can someone please tell me…..why we need this many options?
Is this helping us? Truly?
Is this an effective use of time and money?
If youre living in a nation that has modest to little means of accessing soap, its usually imported, and you likely get one option.
Here in the first world you spend as much time deciding which soap to buy, as someone in another country could take to wash their clothes.