First World Problems
Obadiah Haybin, one of the DJs on RadioU’s morning show, The Riot, tweeted the above statement a few months ago and it really resonated with me. So much so that I decided to draw a comic strip about it. As I prepared to write the accompanying blog post for this week’s cartoon, I thought to myself, “How rad would it be if Obadiah wrote this post?” So I asked him (via Twitter, of course) if he’d like to elaborate on his previously-tweeted thought. He responded that he would.
So, if you would be so kind, please welcome Obadiah Haybin to Insert Image. He’s got some awesome words for y’all.
“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
It’s a phrase that I hear parents saying to their kids. It’s followed by “I hate this waitress. She never gets my order right.” It’s this sort of consistency that is the human condition.
“First world problems are still problems” is my push-back against all the people who are trying to make me realize how great my life is. It is my thumbing my nose at the “count your blessings not your problems” people. It’s me embracing the me-centric, fast food, internet culture in which I live. Live? More like THRIVE. I’m a gifted complainer.
Passionate complaints about absurdly small items are among my favorite things in the entire world. (Thus my great love for Twitter.) Polite society used to hide their unhappy thoughts behind manners and closed doors. Now we are using some of the most sophisticated technology ever designed to make certain everyone knows how dissatisfied we are with our $5 cup of coffee. Calling this absurdity a First World Problem is our way of acknowledging how ridiculous the complaint is while still making the complaint. “I know I shouldn’t be complaining about this but the world must know! Can I get a retweet? Validate me!!”
So people in the first world are just a bunch of whiners? Yeah but here’s a dose of reality: regardless of which world they belong to, humans are all whiners at heart. Give us the right amount of money and leisure and we’d all start whining about ridiculous things eventually.
“I can’t believe pool number seven is broken on yacht three again. I hate my life.”
“I hate going to work. Can’t I just lay in bed all day?” (This is a Riot mainstay, BTW.)
Every human suffers from a universal condition: being human. We’ve got issues, whether it is selfishness, unforgiveness, pride, lust… insert your favorite weakness here. What’s the cure to a society that is filled with self-centered egoists whose problems are created by luxury? Reminding them how selfish they are and showing them the nobility of people who get the other pair of TOMS thereby shaming them in to better behavior? Nope. I’ll leave you with words that are far better than mine:
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” - Romans 7:24-25
Jesus is the only one who can rescue me from the plague of my own selfishness. He is the one who lovingly shows me how ridiculous I am and transforms my heart to be more like his. It’s through him that I can laugh at the all-too-real First World Problems that plague my daily existence (THE INTERNET IS SO SLOW!!!!) while waking up to a world that doesn’t revolve around my personal comfort.
Even better news? I’m not special. He can do the same thing for you.