First World Problems
I’ve been thinking about the saying going around the internet – “this is a first world problem”. Last weekend we went out to Vernal, Utah to visit Tom’s mother. Because she broke her hip before Christmas, she’s been recovering in a care center. We spent the two days we were there hanging out with her. Most residents we saw were elderly – some permanent residents, others like Leone were there to recover before going home again. On Sunday we attended church services with her and there was a woman about my age sitting in front of me in a wheelchair. It looked as though she had limited physical abilities, not just the inability to walk. I got to thinking about her life compared to mine. She was wearing a wedding band, but there was no family there with her. I wondered if there were children at home, and what had landed her in the care center. I thought about the social media things I browse – Facebook, Pinterest, all the blogs I read. They are filled with pictures and stories of home improvement and clever crafts and money saving tips. All things that are fun and fine. But I was guessing that maybe this woman was more focused on other things. It’s easy to get wrapped up in “thin” things – things that aren’t bad in any way, but that aren’t significant either – first world problems. Sometimes it’s seems that no trial in my life can compare to the families in Africa that are simply trying to get enough food to eat. It’s the age old problem – when we start comparing, there are so many questions. I don’t know how others resolve this, or even if many think about it. But I find myself being more grateful for my life, problems and all. I also find myself more motivated to make a difference – to live my life more deliberately – to be kinder, to give more, to be compassionate, to notice the needs of others and do something. I’m fairly imperfect at this, but I have to believe that in the end, no matter our circumstances or challenges, what really matters is what kind of person we become. And I’m guessing that even that woman in the care center is finding that true as she struggles with her challenges.