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The grand scheme of things...

Comment
Jackie Beedie


I’ve recently had a problem with my credit card company. Some evil gangster started buying rail tickets in Berlin with it while I was in the UK. Because of SMS notifications we managed to get it stopped quickly. First problem, we must go to the branch to fill in a dispute form. Really in this day and age when you supply us with e-statements we need to visit a branch? I did not know there were still branches.

Second problem. While the amounts are in dispute I still have to pay them off at the end of the month to avoid finance charges. This has been one of my biggest worries this month and then someone said something that made me stop and reassess. I was told I had a First World problem. I am lucky that I live in an area of the world in which I can have a credit card because I earn enough money, a part of the world where the only problem with food is deciding which restaurant to eat in, a part of the world where I can feel pretty safe at night, just by locking a flimsy door.

There are many parts of the world where the population would literally kill to be able to have the sorts of problems we have. These are places where scrabbling around working all daylight hours just to earn a dollar is called making a living. Where, “what are we going to eat tonight” is in reality “are we going to eat tonight.” Where there are no doctors and no medicines and security is just hoping the local militias, terrorist groups or government soldiers decide that your home is too poor for them to bother with.

Even if you move up the economic scale a bit there are still societies which have somewhere to live, and running water and a basic income but cannot educate their children. And even if they can, the children have no lights to be able to do their homework. Move up a bit more even into First World societies and you will find poverty and homelessness. There are plenty of people in Western Europe or the US who would dearly love their biggest worry to be the length of the queue at Starbucks.

When you consider the living standards of the majority of the world, is it really a major problem that the escalator at the mall was not working which meant that you had to walk up the stairs, or that there was no one available at the supermarket to pack your groceries? No matter what your economic position in the world is, it is human nature to moan at the things which cause you discomfort and duress. However, sometimes it needs a stand back and look attitude to realise “Hey! In the grand scheme of things I don’t have a lot to complain about here”.

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