Perspective (Anya McDaniel)

After the Cold War, countries were split into three broad categories: first, second, and third world. The United States, along with countries such as Australia, Western Europe, and Japan, was considered a first world country. A first world country has the characteristics of being industrial, capitalistic, wealthy, and developed. It is from this category that we get the well known phrase “first world problems.”

This satirical phrase leaves inhabitants of the first world appearing awfully foolish and spoiled. The trivial frustrations of wealthy Americans appear ridiculous when compared to the far weightier problems of poorer, less developed countries. Have you ever said anything like this?

  1. “My phone keeps overheating when I’m sunbathing.”
  2. “I have to watch movies on my phone now because my tablet ran out of battery.”
  3. “I have nothing to wear!” (spoken while looking at a closet full of clothes)
  4. “The tint on my car windows isn’t dark enough.”
  5. “My bluetooth speaker won’t play my music loud enough.”

These are only a few of the complaints one might overhear in a first world country on a regular basis. If we’re not on the list, most of us can translate and find ourselves voicing similarly absurd complaints. The point is this: No matter how much comfort we obtain, we will always find something to complain about. It is the curse of human depravity, the insatiable greed lurking within the sin nature.

Therefore, next time a first world complaint comes to mind about the phone charger being in another room or losing the remote somewhere in the couch, try to remember that these menial struggles are nothing compared to the problems of a third world country.

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