Anytime someone wants to vent about their problems, they always let it all out and then tag on an apologetic “I know, first world problems, right?”. They don’t want to be that person who bitches about their broken hair straightener, poor WiFi connections and no parking, while being completely oblivious to how bad it really can be.
I’ve given up on this little form of apology because it does two things:
1. Belittles our problems. Are my frustrations, inconveniences and sadnesses the most soul crushing of them all? Probably not even close. But I don’t give a shit, they are mine and yours are yours. They are not invalid just because we have food on our tables and running water.
2. False sense of acknowledgment. We get a little relief when we tack on this saying because we’re also conveying that we get it. We could be so much worse off. This does nothing to help the eight year old boy soldier in Sierra Leone, the Russian girl enslaved in a brothel in Amsterdam or the thousands of people grieving the loss of their loved ones to the ravages of Ebola in a place where basic sanitation could of done wonders to prevent it. We don’t get it. We never will. And while gratitude is a beautiful thing, crapping on our daily woes or just bucking up ‘cause it ain’t that bad is not the same thing.
So don’t tell me about your first world problems. Tell me about your problems. And the next time you’re listening to someone rant on and on about the fact that the store ran out of those pants they really, really wanted and oh my God, it is so unfair…don’t be shitty. Just think, wow, this person really wanted those pants. Either this person has been shaped by a superficial, judgmental society to put this sort of thing on the forefront of their mind at all times which must be so emotionally draining it hurts, or, they were really nice fucking pants.