My son, who is home on leave from the Air Force this week, was listening to me complain about a problem I was having with my smart phone. In reply, he said to me, “yeah, first world problem.” It took me a moment to catch his drift. He has categorized problems into first, second, and third world problems. Trouble with your smart phone: that is a first world problem. For those who live outside of the states in third world countries, trouble with your smart phone would likely never make anyone’s list. They have “third world” problems like hunger, disease, violence against women, genocide.
His comment hit home with me such that we have been making a game out of it: labeling ours and others’ complaints as first, second, or third world problems. It was amazing how small everyone’s problems seemed when viewed thru that prism.
Thanksgiving for Americans is a time to reflect and give thanks for what’s good in our lives. I would suggest that it is also a time to give thanks for our problems as well. Too much debt is awful and creates pain and hardship for too many families, but at the end of the day, it is a “first world” problem. And even better, there is a solution.
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