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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

Privilege

Mental health is a popular point of concern for many people these days. After all, there are still large swaths of people who are anxious, depressed, or feeling downright ill. It’s hard to get up in the morning for some people. And that is a major concern. And there is nothing wrong with going to see a therapist or a counselor to alleviate your issues.


And I do believe that mental health is a very important cause to champion and that people need to find outlets for their emotions and their stress – rather than simply keeping it bottled up inside, which just makes it riskier to deal with down the road.


Having said that, I also feel that there are many developing nations around the world that simply don’t have the privilege to worry about mental health and how they are feeling on a day in and day out basis. They could care less about whether they feel anxious about how they look at a large meeting at an office somewhere in the city center. They probably don’t care too much about how someone’s social media post causes them to feel outraged and bitter about life.


For many people in the world, they are simply worried about having enough food on the table for the next month, the next week, or the next day. They are simply trying to keep themselves physically nourished and away from starvation and hunger. They simply want to keep the lights on in their homes and have clean running water. How they “feel” in their minds is of no prevalent concern for them.


Even though the world has made significant progress over the years in terms of alleviating extreme poverty, we still have a way to go, and many people are still suffering. When we, in this first world nation, worry about getting up in the morning or about how someone makes us feel, it should pale in comparison to the child somewhere else in the world who is living off one bowl of rice per day.


When we become addicted to scrolling through social media and it affects our mental health, I’m sure that some people in this world can only dream of a day when they have simple access to the Internet or to consistent electricity usage.


Many of the problems that we face in the modern world are indeed problems. I don’t discount them. However, many of them are also privileged problems. Like dealing with “fake” people in high school. Or worrying about whether you get a promotion or not. Or if someone cuts you off in traffic when you are late to pick up your goods. Those things are obviously annoying and concerning. But when taken with a grain of salt and seen through the picture, are they really that big of a problem to begin with?


Things happen in life. There will be annoyances and stressors for anyone out there. But I think we should realize that as citizens of a first world nation, that we have it pretty good already. I do agree that no technology nor external resource can ever lead to constant eternal satisfaction or gratitude. There will be lumps and warts that we will have to absorb here and there. But, when seen through the greater lens, we should feel grateful that the problems we have are seen as a luxury in other parts of the world.


Again, depression and anxiety are real issues. They can come for anyone – regardless of whichever part of the world they are living in. And these types of issues tend to afflict the developed nations more than the developing ones for some reason. Or maybe it’s simply a hierarchy of problems.


The developed nations don’t have the time or energy to worry about some of these privileged problems that are plaguing first world nations. In the USA, we like to champion these deep fulfilling causes like climate change, gun control, social justice, and education reform. We like to get into deep discussions about the state of today’s politics and how divisive it has gotten. We like to complain about the constant bombardment of negative news in the media today. We like to protest about all these rational issues to leave a relatively more positive impact on society going forward.


And all this is admirable. We just need to realize that many people in other parts of this world don’t have the time or energy to focus on these deep-rooted issues because their most pressing concern is how to take care of their own physical health and how to keep their families alive. So, for us, these “problems” that we encounter in everyday life should be seen from a worldly perspective.


Don’t get me wrong though. Your problems and your issues should not be discounted. You have every right to fight for whatever cause you believe in or talk about whatever issue that needs to be solved. If you feel it is important, then it is important.


I guess everyone has their own sets of problems that they have to deal with. Problems come for us all. It’s just a matter of how serious your issue looks in comparison with others. In my opinion, we still have it pretty good and we should cherish some of these privileged problems that we have in our neatly trimmed lives.

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