“A Matter of Perspective”


Yesterday we stood in the frozen food section of Walmart. I had planned out every meal for the upcoming week and what items I would need. I realized however that I had forgotten to plan a meal for that evening. At the moment, I was starved to the point that my blood sugar was dropping fast and I just needed to pick something quick and get home to eat it! Recipes and ideas rolling through my head, I just couldn’t settle on a quick and easy solution. Blood sugar dropping faster, shaking…. I heard myself say to Greg “This is so hard!” Then I stopped. Really?? Did I just say that? Did I just complain that I couldn’t decide what to buy or fix for dinner?  That was definitely a “first-world problem”. You know, those things that seem soooo difficult to us but are ridiculous when compared to the hardships faced by people in third-world countries and even in our own country on some level.

So after calling myself out for being a complete (albeit hungry and angry….hangry?) individual and not considering the absolute wealth of blessings in my life (at that moment), I thought about how many times I have heard people complain  about things you could consider a first-world problem and how they relate to third world problems.

  • First world problem….My new iPhone has no battery life and keeps dropping calls!
  • Third world problem…I am tired from walking the street for hours today, selling peanuts to make money for my family.
  • First world problem…The waitress at the restaurant was slow and messed up my order!
  • Third world problem…My sister and I pushed a wheelbarrow full of harvested maize today to the mill. If we are lucky one bag will last us two weeks.
  • First world problem…I can’t stand my job! My co-workers are so annoying!
  • Third world problem…I walked three miles before the sun came up to sell goods at the market.
  • First world problem…That guy just cut me off and took my parking spot!
  • Third world problem…My feet are bleeding from walking with no shoes.
  • First world problem…I sat in the doctor’s office for 30 minutes past my appointment time!
  • Third world problem…Two of my children have died from malaria.
  • First world problem…I said no lemon in my water! Geez!
  • Third world problem…I need to boil the water to keep it from possibly killing my children but I need kerosene to heat it and there is no money for that.
  • First world problem…I can’t hear the t.v. because my kids are running around the house screaming!
  • Third world problem…I send my children out nightly to outlying villages to keep them from being abducted.
  • First world problem…My husband tracked mud into the house again!
  • Third world problem…The floors of my house are made of dirt and the walls of mud.

Makes you think doesn’t it? I admit I have those moments when I don’t see things as I should and something totally thoughtless comes out of my mouth. (See paragraph one). But there are times when I hear or read someone’s absolutely ridiculous rant and I just shake my head. Consider these things the next time you feel the need to complain about something that really isn’t as bad as it seems. It’s all just a matter of perspective. Someone else is out there struggling with a battle that is much, much harder.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows – James 1:17


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