First World Problems

In this morning’s assembly, U4E talked to us about First World problems. A First World problem is defined as ‘a relatively trivial or minor problem or frustration (implying a contrast with serious problems such as those that may be experienced in the developing world).’

The girls gave some amusing and relatable examples of ‘First World problems’ from their everyday lives such as:

  • When your iPhone runs out of charge but your friend only has an Android phone charger to lend you!
  • When you are unable to hand in homework because your printer is broken but your teacher doesn’t believe you as it’s such a cliché excuse
  • When you lose a ‘snapchat streak’ of over a hundred days!
  • When your hair bobble snaps right before you have P.E
  • When you don’t have enough mobile data to do anything on your phone outside of your house

But then the girls put our ‘First World problems’ into perspective, with some shocking statistics:

Next time your phone runs out of battery and you are unable to charge it, remember:

Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. Far fewer — only 4.5 billion people — have access to working toilets.

Next time you go to complain about how much homework you have, remember:

In the Sub-Saharan, 11.07 million children leave school before completing primary education. In South and West Asia, that number reaches 13.54 million. It’s been proven that in developing, low-income countries, every additional year of education can increase a person’s future income by an average of 10%.

Next time you think that the vending machine being out of Haribo is the end of the world, remember:

There are 276 million chronically undernourished people in South Asia alone.

The girls then showed us a video in which people who suffer ‘Third World problems’ in their day-to-day life read out ‘First World problems’.

The girls reminded us that instead of focusing on the little things that annoy us, it is important to recognize what we do have: a good education, a stable family life and an assured food supply. In our moment of silence, we reflected on what we are grateful for in our everyday life, rather than what irritates us.

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