First world problems (click to comment)


When my daughter was waitressing at a gourmet restaurant, she was shocked at how often people complained. Once the food was served and the patrons had a few minutes to sample it, she was taught to ask with a smile, “How is everything?” in hopes that everything was alright. But when some of the regular whiners came in, she felt like asking, “Is anything alright?” I’m sure you’ve never complained, but we all know people who have. Here are some ridiculous complaints from actual people:


– I spend more time looking for a movie to watch than watching one.

– My hand is too chubby to shove into the Pringles chip container, so I have to tilt the container.

– My husband does everything I ask, but why do I have to ask him?

– I have more clothes than hangers.

– I have enough dip for my chips, but if I open another container, I won’t have enough chips for my dip.


I was speaking to a group of nurses and during a Q&A time someone asked me, “What are your pet peeves?” What would you say? In hindsight, I wish I had been more eloquent, but I told them I couldn’t think of one thing off hand. Life is too short to focus on my insignificant little first world problems. What on earth did I have to complain about? I had breakfast that morning. I had a wife who still loved me and found me handsome. So she had gone completely blind. They laughed at that.

People in the first world say, “I’m hungry but I better not eat because I just brushed my teeth.” People in the third world say, “I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat. You have a toothbrush? Wow.” I heard someone say, “My sandwich is so full that it’s hard to eat.” I’ve been in countries where they have nothing to put in their sandwich. And if they did, they may have nothing to sandwich it with.

Most of us don’t need another guilt trip, but I often need a reminder that I should be characterized by unending gratitude and enormous generosity. Real joy shows up only when we give thanks for God’s blessings and when we do what we can for others. Just this morning I found five places in the Bible where we’re told to,“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” How about you? What are some practical ways that gratitude shines through? Maybe you can thank a waitress today. And if you’re wealthy enough to have more clothes than hangers, rather than buy more hangers, give half those clothes away.


Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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