Identifying something as a First World Problem has become a way of saying that that something is not really too much of a problem in the big picture: more like a minor hindrance or irritant in a pretty fortunate life.
I have been thinking lately, well before being prompted to blog about first world problems. that I have, indeed, been pretty darn lucky. Unlike millions of folk, both past and present, I have always been comfortable: always had a roof over my head and heat in winter. For much of my adult life, I have even enjoyed artificial coolness in summer which has been pretty doggone important in the past week as our temperatures soared to a feels like reading of over 105F. There were three days when I pretty much hibernated indoors.
And as my tightening beltline will attest, I have always had enough to eat. The food has always been there. Unlike millions or even billions, I've never had to scrounge for scraps.
Healthcare has also been good. As a senior in Ontario, I don't pay much more than $100 per year for my prescriptions. To put that into perspective, meds were costing my ~$300/mo before I officially reached the golden years. That leaves me enough money to fund dental care, orthotics and hearing aids without too much financial strain. As someone who must fork out almost $3000 for hearing aids this year, I am really appreciative of the help that I get with prescription meds that leaves me the funds for these devices. Even then, the hearing aids were partly subsidized, for without state assistance, my cost would be closer to $4500. Phew!
Of course, life has been good in other ways that would be easy to take for granted. I am referring, of course, to family: both the family that I grew up in and that which I accumulated on the way. Perhaps, although I do my utmost to disguise the fact (hahaha), you have noticed how much I dote on my grandkids.
Let's add universal education to the goodies that have enhanced my life, for even now education is not free and easy in many less developed countries. Also, my university years were subsidized by a combination of student loans and grants.
Such are the benefits that accrue from the happy accident of being born in a first world country.
This all leads me to a first world phenomenon that I have some minor reservations about — the bucket list. There are those who have grand bucket lists of things that they intend to do in this life. Goals and wish lists are fine really, and I have no great issue with listing things you would like to accomplish, which often becomes holidays to take and places to see. I do hope, however, the bucket folk are appreciative of the truly important things in life like some that I have mentioned above.
I don't have a bucket list. I can't afford to have a bucket list. If I were to have a first world problem I guess this would be it, which is to say that I don't have much of a problem. Of course, I appreciate things which happen to accrue to me beyond the basics, but I would never sit down and make a bucket list of wishes as if not being able to cross them off my list would somehow be a grave failure or disappointment. I do understand that there is no particular fault in having a checklist of some sort, but to me the stuff of life is more like having love, comfort and sufficiency. If you have that as I do, you're blessed ... as I am.