First World Problems: A Solution


I've covered this subject before, but something happened to me a few weeks back and I thought I should share the whole story.   It started with a box of tissues.   I was in my office and reached for a tissue to blow my nose.   The box was the cube style, with a small opening, the kind which sometimes get clumped up.

That's exactly what happened.   I pulled out a tissue and three others came along for the ride.   Immediately I made a grunting sound of exasperation and said aloud, “I hate when that happens!”   The next thought that entered my head was, “First world problems.”

The following thought was the important one, because I became inspired.   I turned back in my chair to my desk and scratched out an idea for a mission project for my church.   This idea became a calendar of 31 days and a combination of a first world problem with a corresponding suggested donation.

For example, “Shampoo ran out in the shower.”   The suggested donation, “Buy a bottle of shampoo for the Lake Region Community Shelter.”   I crafted these lists and divided the donations between our Hope Center food pantry, the new community shelter, and a local United Methodist mission The Spirit Lake Ministry Center.

This list was included in our monthly newsletter and instructions were given to bring the donations to church and place them in the three collection tubs.   Apart from collecting for three worthy causes I wanted to raise awareness of the needs of others.

If our local missions are to survive and provide services to those in need it is up to us in the community   to donate, volunteer, and talk them up.   While we may think we don't know anyone in the kind of situation where food is scarce or money is tight, we need to understand how common it is.

Whatever we can do to ease the burdens of others we should do as we are able.   You don't have to be a Christian to show kindness and concern for others.   One of the most altruistic people I know is not a believer but she is fiercely concerned with care for others.

It just goes to show that kindness and care is a human trait, universal in scope, not necessarily a product of faith.   Faith helps, of course, but to be truly human we need to seek the humans whose lives are less than ours and help them to feel better.