Final days of #FirstWorldProblems

Wow! First blog. This is all becoming so real. Increasingly since receiving my invitation in March, I’ve been  noticing some of my everyday habits and solution to our #FirstWorldProblems.

The past weekend, I attended a beautiful wedding back in one of the best cities in the world, New Orleans. I had attended a Kesha concert the night before my flight to NOLA and threw a bunch of dress clothes in a duffel bag at 4:30 am before jetting off to the airport. On Saturday, after a morning of bottomless mimosas, a group of us rushed to feign classiness before attending the wedding. When I pulled my balled up shirt, pants and jacket out of my bag, I knew the wrinkles wouldn’t help me feign any type of classiness that day.

So I had done what most college students living without an iron do, and I turned on the hot shower. I didn’t get in the shower, I ran around doing a few other things, but I hung up my clothes in the bathroom and closed the door. After running for about 20 minutes, some of the wrinkles had flattened out, I got changed and ran out the door, attempting to clip on my bow tie without strangling myself.

After I sat down at the wedding ceremony, I had a minute to think about what I had just done. I used a hot shower, not to actually bathe, but to make my clothes look a little better. In one week, I probably won’t have access to hot water, let alone a shower. My priorities have been so inflated by my privilege and I’m excited to spend the next two months of training (our official swearing as volunteers is December 7th!) challenging those habits.

Quickly, as I am submitting my Absentee Ballot for the United States general election in November, I want to comment on the term #FirstWorldProblem. At last week’s Presidential debate, the Republican candidate compared airports in the United States to a “third-world country.” First of all, we are one world. The idea of a first, second, and third world is outdated and demeaning. Second, we are so insulated by our privilege in the United States, that we’ve forgotten so many of our everyday luxuries. We’ve moved on to a “developed vs. developing” country model, which still doesn’t paint a great picture, because the United States is developing, and countries like The Gambia are definitely developed in many ways. “Words matter.

One thought on “Final days of #FirstWorldProblems

  1. Tom says:

    I was just reading about how we should refer to these “third world” or “developing” countries as previously colonized countries. I really like this idea. The reason they’re considered a bit behind by “developed” countries is because they were raped, enslaved, murdered, and taken advantage of for decades and even centuries, not by just anyone, but by the very countries-the colonizing countries-which label them third world. Anyway, hope you have a blast!


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