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My New Year’s Resolution is to Ask Myself: Is It a First-World Problem?


To me, New Year’s equals “good intentions.” I have made the resolutions to lose the weight, eat healthier, exercise more… blah blah blah. I, like most people, set these great goals but they wither because life is life.

This year, when I came back from my Christmas break, I was going on and on about a package that got to my house after Christmas, what a pain it will be to un-decorate and how I felt like I gained so much weight. My very sweet co-worker Ryan said, “Wow, sounds like first-world problems!”

Maybe he said it to get me to shut up or was just joking but I took it to heart. Yeah, they are first-world problems! I.E. they aren’t real problems. So, I decided to assess every frustration that comes into my head and heart with one simple question. Is this a first-world problem? I’ll give you some examples…

Real Problems

  • My children and I are starving because there is not enough food in my country to feed its inhabitants and my government will not allow outsiders to help feed me.
  • I have to sleep on a dirt floor with no covers. I’m cold day and night.
  • There is mud, feces and other very gross items in my drinking water.
  • I have lost everything to a natural disaster and there is no one to help me pick up the pieces.
  • My clothes are torn and ragged because I have to wear what I can find.

First-World “Problems” (that I have probably said…)

  • I don’t like anything on this menu! Why did we come here? Grouch grouch grouch…
  • My two-story house in Newburgh isn’t big enough! There is stuff everywhere. I need a bigger house!
  • This tap water tastes funny.
  • I wanted the Sony professional-grade camera, not the Canon!

Now, don’t get me wrong… we all have problems and they are very real problems. We adjust to our environment. But sometimes what seems like “an end of the world” matter may in fact, not be that big of a deal.

After a Christmas full of ingratitude and first-world problems, I hope that by adopting this new attitude I will become more grateful for what I have and desire less.

I’m also going to drink more water and eat more greens. Oh, and visit the YMCA more, too!

Happy 2014!

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