I was vaguely familiar with term, and after doing some research leaned that it actually harkens back to the Cold War Era and referred to the countries allied with the United States during that time. The term now refers to nations that possess highly developed societies, are capitalistic in nature, industrialized, influential, and prosperous. (For more information on which countries are included and various related statistics check here.)
But what are problems First World Nations encounter and how do they differ from Third World problems?
- Suffering from obesity rather than starvation
- Looking in a closet packed with clothing and whining about nothing to wear as opposed to owning only the clothes covering your body
- Complaining about the long line at the DMV instead of never even imagining owning a car
- Huffing and puffing over a slow wi-fi connection while our Third World brothers and sisters have their internet blocked by the government, or they can't afford a computer, or they are illiterate.
Do you see the disconnect? We "suffer" from abundance while they suffer from want. If you're anything like me, you're going to start thinking twice before complaining about your Starbucks order being wrong or the grocery store being out of your favorite brand of cereal.
We need a transition in our thinking. We need a revival of gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness - and giving. We need to give more, demand less, and keep our perspective straight.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. - Phil 2:4,5 (KJV)