Relative comparisons

I hate it when people try to guilt people for feeling what they feel by saying things like, “There are starving children in Africa,” or “There are wars going on in poor countries where people are dying every day, and you’re getting upset/complaining about (fill in the blank with whatever first world problem you are annoyed about).”

I think that any remotely smart person in this country is aware that she’s pretty lucky relative to the rest of the world. In this country, we don’t have to worry about leaving our house and potentially getting bombed on the way to work. We don’t have to think twice when we drink water out of our tap. We also have so much food to eat that over 40 percent of all food bought here is wasted and thrown out (that is so sad). But I think it’s unfair to make the comparison to starving children or war torn countries when we discuss the problems we face. We only truly know what we face in our own lives each day, so why should we be guilted and shut up by the thought that there are people starving and dying elsewhere? I don’t think that when someone complains about not getting a job or a certain pair of shoes or even a restaurant reservation here needs to think about starving children in Africa as her first thought when she wakes up every morning. Yes, we need to be thankful for what we have, but to use that as a guilt trip is just unfounded. You could use that excuse every single time someone complained about anything here in the U.S., which is just stupid. Complaining is part of human nature. When it gets excessive, it’s terrible, but we will always complain about certain areas of our lives because that’s the way we are programmed. We can only compare what we have to what is facing us, not something that is thousands of miles away and out of reach.

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