Thursday, August 1, 2013

1st World Problems are NOT Problems

“Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I've always believed that if you took one tenth the energy you put into complaining, and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out." Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Excuse me while I get on my soap box for a few minutes.

I want this post to make you THINK. Know what that means? My kindergartners each year know what it means. They know it means to "use your brain"; to "solve a problem"; to "not jump to conclusions." If a kindergartner can "think", surely an adult can as well, right?

But how, when, or even IF people "think" is not what this post is about.  It's about WHAT our society thinks is important, and what they should think is important instead.

Here it goes:

We complain. A lot. About the most trivial things. Agree?

I teach kindergarten. 21 five year olds complain. All day, every day. "Mrs. Haaaanson, he looked at me funny!", Mrs. Hanson, I can't see!" "Mrs. Hanson, I'm hungry!" But they're FIVE! They are allowed and expected to whine.

Grown adults? Not so much. But it happens. And you know it's true. You might not be one of the complainers, but I guarantee you either know someone who is, or have been one at some point in your adulthood.

And the majority of our complaints are tied to "first world problems." 

- My phone charger won't reach where I'm sitting.
- I told them no tomatoes, and they still gave me tomatoes.
- Our internet connection isn't fast enough.
- This waitress has not checked on us in five minutes. There goes her tip.
- !@#$%^& TRAFFIC!!!
- There's no milk and I already poured my cereal.

Am I guilty of these? Yes. Am I proud to be guilty of these? Well, no.

We've all seen the memes. They crack me up, because they are so true. But they make me shake my head at the same time. 

We are impatient:

I know kids who have more patience in a toy store than an adult does waiting for a page to load on the internet. 

And we're lazy:

We've grown so accustomed to our fast-paced, tech-savvy society that we rarely take the time to "stop and smell the roses," so to speak. We aren't grateful, we don't show appreciation, and we can't just sit and enjoy someone's company. Some people are so attached to their phone they don't even notice the people around them. I saw this video on Facebook the other day, and it's sad how true it is.

We complain about the negativity in the news, yet refuse to see there is good out there as well. It seems there's always someone needing to say something negative at all times. People can't just do good things. The bad has to be picked out. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

I try to think back to how things were when I didn't have a smart phone, or fast internet access - any internet access for that matter. It's hard to remember, but I bet I was more productive. I bet I spent more time socializing with people in person. I bet I had more patience. 

These complaints should make us think. They should make us think about other countries' issues, and how blessed we are to have our so called "problems." The things we spend time complaining about are the things that people in third world countries are praying about.