Finding the Balance

-Wants vs. Needs

A Message From Diana Ricketson, 200 Orphanages Worldwide Social Media Manager:

A few days ago, I saw an interesting video based on the #firstworldproblems. Examples included, “My house is so big I need to wifi routers to reach the whole house, or “My phone charger won’t reach my bed. These #firstworldproblems can be problems in our world. In the article some of the examplesof #firstworldproblems were made as a joke, I get that, but for me the message from the comments struck a chord.

The comments I  read were “Oh, that made me think that my problems aren’t so bad,” Or; “That made me think twice about being concerned about my wireless troubles.” Other comments were more cynical: “we should not be made to feel guilty about others suffering; some problems are no worse than others,” These people in developing nations are already being helped, there are always camera crews there manipulating people to donate.”

Not long ago, while suffering from depression, I quit my sales job, moved back home with my parents, and started a part-time job. I had no romantic prospects, and it was not looking up for a full-time marketing position in Atlanta. At the same time, my Aunt’s husband was suffering from early Alzheimer’s.  People tried to tell me that at least I had a roof over my head, and my husband of 20 years was not suffering from Alzheimer’s. I could build an argument that my problems were as important.

After a time, my aunt’s experience helped take me out of myself and place me beyond my “I have problems too you know, including…my phone charger not reaching the bed that could eventually lead to torn ligaments from straining.”

What struck me after viewing the video was the failure most of us have understanding needs and wants. The people in the video didn’t have even the most basic needs met for survival. This is there world.. It’s clear no one really needs a phone charger to survive. Many people in the world  live in survival mode. In the #firstworldproblems it may not seem so. Not having safe shelter to prevent bugs, wind, rain, sun, and predators out, those are real problems many people on the earth experience every day. It made me aware  the need problems are greater than the want problems. Do you need an iPhone more than you need clean water? (I can hear you joining the argument in my head) This video helped me put my wants vs. needs in perspective this holiday season and motivates me to help knowing I can’t do it all, but I can do something.

If we can help others in need, and turn our focus away from ourselves by providing shelter, clean water, food, safety, clothes, medicine, education, and sanitation, then we can all focus on lengthening those short phone chargers. Here is an opportunity to help an orphan in need.

Correction, the video in question is not affiliated with A link to the video: