Living in rich Alberta, Canada, there is no end of “more” all around us. More monetary possessions. More food. More traffic. More dept. More.
When other parts of the world have none. Many of our “problems” really aren’t problems at all. They are First World Problems.
I’m not going to typecast anyone, but I’ll tell you some of the first world problems that I fool myself into believing are actually problems.
1. Gaining weight
I have the luxury of gaining weight…because I have more than enough food in my fridge in order to overindulge. Do you know the amount of people who don’t have this problem?
842 Million people in our world don’t have enough to eat. source: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats
Here I am overindulging on the very life force that millions of people need. Not want. Need. People will die today for the very thing I struggle to control. I need to look at food with respect and nourishment.
2. I want to give my kids more than I had
Through the years, my kids have come home with school/friend issues. So and so has better clothes, a nicer bike, a computer, they get to travel every year with their family to a tropical destination. I’ve struggled with worry over my children’s education such as: the classroom is too crowded for my kids to get one-on-one attention.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
According to 2005 enrolment statistics: 72 Million of primary school age children in the developing world were not in school, 57% of those were girls. source: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/pdf/mdg2007.pdf
My kids have access to education!
3. It snowed again, it’s cold out, I don’t want to leave my warm home.
Let’s look at my home country: 30,000 Canadians are homeless at any given night, and 200,000 Canadians will experience homelessness in any given year. source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/30-000-canadians-are-homeless-every-night-1.1413016
And I’m looking out the window of my warm home complaining about the weather?
4. My internet is down.
1.6 Billion people, a quarter of humanity, live without electricity. source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
I go to the grocery store, conveniently within minutes of my home I might add, shop for too many items, come home and cook on my stove using handy electricity.
In developing Countries, some 2.5 billion people must rely on biomass: fuel wood, charcoal, and animal dung to meet their energy needs for cooking. Indoor air pollution resulting from cooking using biomass claims the life of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them are below the age of 5. source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
I have a stove and electricity my friends…I don’t have to rely on cooking with animal shit as my fuel. AND I don’t have to worry about polluting my big ass home when I do cook.
5. I forgot to call for water for my cooler, now I have to drink tap water.
A low 12% of the world’s population use 85% of the world’s water resources, and these 12% do not live in the third world. source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
If you are reading this and you have access to clean water, you and I are in that 12%. We have the essential earth’s recourses just pouring out of our taps, we even use it to fill pools, water our lawns so they are greener, and take our kids to spray parks where they play it.
I think you get my point…
I lost a very important woman and mentor in my life this week, My Aunt Elda. She taught me important life lessons: to count my blessings, to love others, and to live with a thankful heart. She lived her life for people, not things.
I have to check myself. My soul has been fooled to believe I need more; when the reality is I have more than enough. I should be waking up every day with a ridiculously huge smile on my face simply for the fact I have the resources at my fingertips to live, to raise my children in health, to drink, to eat. Why has my focus shifted to the wrong things? Matters of the soul are not things.
So I have to ask myself: What am I doing to make this world a better place? To give more than I take? To love without condition? To be thankful and live with a grateful heart?
Thank you Aunt Elda for teaching me so much about what truly matters in this blessed life.
From my abundantly thankful heart to yours,