For people privileged enough to be from a developed country, the term ‘first world problem’ is something that seems to pop up increasingly more – so much so it has now become a very popular hashtag. We’re all aware of them , even if we aren’t aware we moan about them.
For anyone not clear on the term, it 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. In other words, people in the world’s poorest communities wouldn’t even dream of moaning about it.
I live and work in London and although it is one of the most advanced cities in the world, every day there are endless examples of people moaning at first world problems. However I cannot point the finger – I’m certainly guilty of doing so too. Naturally we all complain because in our world little problems can seem annoying but it is rarely a big issue compared to the global context.
Whether it’s not having the most up to date phone, having to run for a bus, getting caught in the rain, pouring your cereal but you have no milk, the Internet is being slow, you can’t get a table in a restaurant, the shower is luke-warm; there are millions of examples.
Yes they may be frustrating, but next time something similar happens I’m going to take a step back and remember that 663 million people in the world still don’t have access to clean drinking water. Many still have to walk for hours to collect it in the harshest conditions – but despite this the children I met in Malawi were some of the happiest I’ve ever seen.
From being a part of the incredible One Brand and visiting our projects in Malawi, I regularly reflect on this and realise how lucky we are to have clean water to drink. If you want to help given clean water to those most in need, you can fundraise for or donate to The One Foundation or simply pick up a One drink.