Is your phone battery dying, but your charger is on the other side of the room? Is your cleaner running late? Do you struggle to hear the TV whilst eating crunchy snacks? Have you eaten too much lunch and are feeling too tired to work in the afternoon?
Life is tough.
This morning I was watching Sweet Genius, a programme that is reguarly shown on The Food Network. A contestant didn’t like what she had produced and so threw it in the bin and then became hysterical because her cake hadn’t turned out in the way that she had hoped.
In direct contrast to this, we’ve just celebrated Children in Need here in the UK, an annual event designed to raise millions of pounds for those who are disadvantaged and in need of help. Friday night’s programming was a huge telethon that highlighted issues such as starvation, poverty and malnutrition across the world. This comes in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines, where an antire nation of people have been left in the horror of death and destruction and are without food and water.
I had a really interesting conversation with a taxi driver on the way home from work the other day. He was from Afghanistan and he had moved to the UK about five years ago. He had a degree in geology, but wasn’t able to find a job in his chosen field and so had been working as a driver to support his wife and three children. I asked him what he thought of the UK and this was his response:
” British people complain too much – it’s too cold, it’s too rainy, it’s too windy, I can’t be bothered to go to work, I’m tired, I’m hungry… always miserable. In my country there isn’t running water and hospitals are poor, but people are happy.”
I’m very proud to be British, but I have to agree a little – we have developed a reputation for ourselves as being a nation of complainers. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been standing in a queue (yet another British trait) and listening to somebody tutting and huffing because the service isn’t quick enough, or whining about their doctor, the fact that the bus is late, they can’t get a mobile phone signal, their iPad is broken, or bitching about somebody that has said something to upset them. Looking back over my own posts I am certainly guilty of this, and I sometimes have had to be reminded (thanks Pete) of exactly how lucky I am.
Our problems are always relative to our situation. However, in more priviledged countries we take for granted the basic necessities and therefore develop almost a sense of entitlement to things that millions of others across the world pray for daily. These expectations have resulted in the development of First World Problems… Even Maslow’s Heirachy now needs to be extended to incorporate our basic needs.
Here are other First World Problems that lots of you may have experienced:
My earphones are tangled in my bag.
I fell asleep on the massage table.
The supermarket didn’t have my favourite brand of Brie.
My car stereo isn’t MP3 compatible.
I can’t fit my PS4 next to my other consoles on the shelf.
My iPad is too bright.
I put too much water in my cous-cous.
I keep trying to text at red lights, but I keep hitting all the greens.
It’s too hot outside but the air conditioning is too high inside.
I’ve chipped my nail polish.
My hotel room doesn’t have wi-fi.
I had to open my door at a drive – through.
I missed the postman and now have to go all the way to the Post Office to collect my parcel.
The batteries are dying in the remote control.
My wallet is too small.
I’ve used up all my lives on Candy Crush
I’ve just broken my designer sunglasses.
My bechemel sauce won’t thicken.
I have really bad tan lines from my holiday and now can’t wear a strapless dress.
I don’t want to go on holiday abroad with my family.
It certainly made me think about my life and privileges. What about you? Do you have any First World Problems? Do you think we spend too much time complaining? I’d love to hear what you think!