Monday, January 21, 2013

Real Problems

There is this awful social media meme called First World problems, where people write in with the little things that bug them about being the world's most privileged individuals. It's really disingenuous: people like to complain, but they know it's selfish and small minded to complain about such trivial things. So this cute movement has been launched where people are laughing about their complaints--"Yes, we are wise to our self absorption," as if this somehow mitigates the complaints. But in the end, they are still complaining, and their complaints--and maybe their lives--revolve around petty concerns.

Ouch. I guess the above is kind of harsh, but I'm writing it after having read a post that John just wrote, The Praying Man. John was working at a clinic that included dental services. A man who was in terrible pain and waiting to have a tooth extracted was in line, praying to be seen. As Haitian luck would have it, the person before this man was the last patient of the day. However, the staff promised this man that he would be first in line tomorrow, which was the last day of the clinic.

In a stroke of more Haitian luck, this last day of clinic was cancelled; due to the armed presence of unhappy, young men in the area, the staff didn't feel safe and decided there would be no clinic.

Have you ever been in really bad pain? If you are fortunate enough to be a First World resident, you have most times been able to get your pain alleviated. I keep thinking of this poor man in Haiti, with his excrutiating tooth pain. Too bad there's not a social media movement for his Third World problems.

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