First world problems
First world problems
Yet another night when all the house smoke alarms turn on in orchestral unison at 3am. 8 days of this in a row will keep the entire family awake and sleep deprived. All the alarms will have to replaced. The wife’s cell phone malfunctions and is irreparable, need to get another one. The cooking range hood motor seized, guess I am going to have to call someone to fix that. My car is at the mechanics and looks like the engine may have to be replaced piece by piece. The stereo system in the family room has suddenly decided not to play any of the music that it is meant to play. Well that was a waste.
Overwhelmed, frustrated, I threw my hands to the heavens asking for redemption and understanding as to why am I incurring the wrath of the machine technology gods. My mind slowly drifts to the article that I read about the hunger and the famine in many countries. My heart melts and I realize the seemingly insignificance of my inconveniences. These people have no home, and I am worrying about smoke alarms in my house. They have no communication abilities yet are able to relate to one another without the cell phone. They use an open fire in front of their shanty home without any use of a range hood. The only transportation they know is that which isbelow their waist or on the back of a domestic animal. The only music that many of these people hear is the singing of their own voices or that of the birds.
I wake up to the realization that these are first world problems and no matter how overwhelming they are still related to an inconvenience and not a survival necessity. When millions have no access to food, water, healthcare, shelter or education and are in a constant state of stress and unfortunately due to their situation they may never ever get out of their predicaments. When we look at another’s life through their eyes we can shift perspectives and unleash compassion. Compassion means literally to suffer with someone else. We all know this differentiation of first world problems and third world troubles, yet we still grumble and get upset when the microwave doesn’t work or the ice dispenser malfunctions or a light bulb goes out, or the coffee machine misbehaves. I would offer a simple pause, and looking at my inconvenience offer a silent blessing and love to anyone on the planet who is less fortunate than me. This innocent act resets my anger to one of compassion and gets me back to a state of balance. Once more patient and centered I can focus on resolving my problem calmer, more expediently and effectively.
Holding space for someone else with compassion inherently helps heal us as well.
I love you