Monday, February 27, 2012

First World Problems

Every Thursday evening after supper, I drive my 14-year-old daughter to her guitar lesson, and while she’s there, I pop over to WalMart across the street, and hang around their books section until it’s time to pick her up (in the summer I hang around the garden center, obviously).

Anyway. After the lesson is over, I pick her up and we stop in at McDonald’s where we each enjoy a snack-sized Oreo McFlurry and some mother-daughter quality time that includes conversation (we don’t just sit and stare at each other as we stuff our faces). The topic of discussion varies, but it’s always interesting. A couple of weeks ago, I asked my daughter how things were with her boyfriend (yes, she already has one of those) to which she answered ‘great’. She likes many things about him, how thoughtful and caring he is, and that they have a lot in common.

“Like what?” I asked.

Like how they both agree that their generation is rotten. Spoiled. Whiny.

Huh?

“Have you heard about first world problems?” She asked.

“Yes, I have. There’s even a funny video about it that’s quickly circulating around the web”

“We complain about stupid things.” She said.

“We sure do.” I added. “Where do you think you fit in there?”

She surprised me by answering something like this: “Well, I’m a little bit like that. But maybe not too bad. I do complain about stupid stuff, but I know I shouldn’t.” (Admitting to be less than perfect in the teen years?)

“We all do.” I told her. “It’s all relative. We are complainers, and the complaints are relative to the lives we lead. The cushier our lives are and the smaller our problems are, the stupider our grievances. It’s shameful when you stop and think about it. There are people facing real problems in this world. Perhaps we should remind ourselves of that once in awhile, so we can practice gratitude instead of whininess.”

Sadly, she’s right. For a society that lives quite comfortably, we sure can find a lot to bellyache about.

Here is the video that makes me hang my head in shame because I’m guilty of some of the things depicted in it.



Perhaps today we can all practice gratitude for the comfortable lives we lead in wealthy, industrialized countries. Particularly those of us who don’t know what real problems are.

21 comments:

  1. You are so right. I'm constantly reminding myself to stop griping about little annoying things! Your daughter sounds like a lovely girl.

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    1. I do the same thing. It's human nature. Thank you about my daughter. She's a nice kid. I'm happy that she's at least aware - and able to admit - these things.

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  2. Good juxtaposition of this post and the preceding one.

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    1. Thanks, Debra. It was planned, but it worked out well.

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  3. I love hashtagging #firstworldproblems on Twitter. You can get some good material out of it.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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    1. Glad to see you here, Bonnie. I'll have to sneak over to your blog and take a peek.

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  4. It's really great that your daughter & boyfriend recognize themselves at their age - truth is that we are all spoiled to very large degree in this society & in more ways than we realize. I know I'm guilty of being impatient when my perks are delayed!

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    1. We certainly are spoiled. I try to remind myself of this when I become impatient over silly things. It's sweet to see my daughter and her boyfriend aware of these things. It's a good step.

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  5. What a wise young lady your daughter is! Wonder where that comes from? The video clip was very entertaining.....lots to ponder there! We ARE SO SPOILED!

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    1. I thought I followed you......now I do!

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    2. Thank you, Jim! That's very kind. She's a good kid; I'm very proud of her. Yes, we are sooooo spoiled!

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  6. That video sort of says it all doesn't it? And I agree with Jim about your daughter!

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    1. Thanks, Francie. That video is hilarious, but also a reminder of our ridiculous complaints.

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  7. I showed this to my son and he said it is funny and so true.
    Thanks for reminding us how lucky we are.

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    1. I think we all need a reminder now and again. I try to be grateful as often as I can.

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  8. With the tough economy in the states I am really learning to appreciate what I have.

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    1. That's terrific, WebDebris. I'm glad things are okay with you. It's sad what's going on and how people are having a tough time.

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  9. What a great conversation to have! :) I've talked a lot on my blog about perspective and what you choose to focus on. Even if I have ten different things going 'wrong' with my day, I can still focus on the one thing that is 'right'. The energy shift is instantaneous and with practice this way of thinking has now become habit. Thankfully, because it makes each and every day a blessing instead of just another day to get through. :)

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    1. That's a great way to go about it. We all get caught up in our busy days, and end up getting frustrated at times, but if we really stop and think about it, we can find good things in our day, every day!

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